I recently watched the ABC News VR segment “Inside North Korea VR” and wanted to pass along a few thoughts about it. It demonstrated some evolution of VR content by containing several noteworthy elements such as a panel at the start containing “look behind you” in case you are initially facing the wrong direction (which has happened to me twice so far). At any moment, including at the start, the viewer may not be looking where the action or desired content is appearing and may need cues on where to look.

Bob Woodruff, the reporter, was good at telling the viewer where to look on several occasions. Rather than having the entire viewing experience be 360 immersion, at one point there was an embedded video panel which could also be observed. The panel contained additional content without the viewer having to leave the current experience. At another point it appeared to me that a particular portion of the 360 view remained at normal lighting while the remaining was slightly darkened. This provided the director the opportunity to attract and focus the viewer’s attention on a particular area of interest. This reduces the chance that the viewer might miss entirely something relevant.

This was both an informative segment as well as being a more professional example of VR news rather than simply being hi-end spherical camera technology.