News media organisations can start preparing now for extended reality (XR) to have the skill sets and tools necessary when readers reach mass adoption, according to a report released today by INMA.
- Setting the scene for XR.
- Tools and technologies to get started.
- Augmented Reality (AR) for news .
- Virtual Reality (VR) for news.
- Commercial opportunities of XR.
- What is the metaverse.
According to the report, what has previously been called Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) has in recent years become known under an umbrella term: Extended Reality (XR). And the tipping point of mass adoption is nearing.
Pointing to trends in the past several years, the report notes that many companies are already moving towards XR. For example, Disney has hired a senior executive for the metaverse, and Facebook believed so strongly in this that they changed their name to Meta.
As hardware and technology that allow readers to move between screens and glasses continue to become cheaper, more readers will have access to immersive experiences, allowing media companies to give readers much more context at one time.
The new report, based on INMA’s six-part master class series, “How newsrooms can creatively use and report on XR,” in partnership with Meta, provides a blueprint for news media companies to navigate the new “reality” landscape.
XR’s specific benefits and opportunities as related to the news media industry:
- How to explain XR to readers.
- Specific tools media companies can use that cost less than an iPhone in some cases.
- Why media companies should give platforms like Snapchat another look.
- A reminder that the story matters more than the platform.
Among the report’s experts are Laura Hertzfeld, a storytelling innovation executive; Robert Hernandez, professor of professional practice, University of Southern California; Chloe Rochereuil, co-founder and VR director at TARGO; Zillah Watson, an XR executive producer; Raymond Soto, senior director of emerging tech at Gannett | USA Today Network; and Stephen Shaw, global business development director at Iconic Engine.
“After a false start for news organisations experimenting with VR in 2015 the tipping point is finally coming,” INMA’s Hopperton said. “We don’t yet know what the metaverse will look like, but we do know that AR is already built into most social platforms and VR headset sales are increasing dramatically. This report serves as the groundwork to start building skills and strategy for all that is coming in the very near future.”