The New York Times is the latest company to jump on the virtual reality bandwagon, as the newspaper has worked in conjunction with Google in order to develop the NYT VR app.
The NYT VR app is a new platform of Google Cardboard that is designed to present users with a series of virtual reality short films. The app will be made available to anyone who subscribes to the New York Times. Right now, the newspaper has more than one million subscribers.
The virtual reality platform will arrive on iOS and Android on November 5th. A free Google Cardboard headset will be sent to all subscribers of the New York Times a couple of days later.
The initial offering of the app is a film called The Displaced. The film tracks three refugee children who are trying to escape from South Sudan, Eastern Ukraine and Syria. The company Vrse helped to produce the documentary. Vrse is also known for helping Vice Media start its own virtual reality news program earlier this year.
Another program coming to NYT VR is called Walking New York. This short film will showcase the New York Times behind the scenes. More virtual reality short movies are set to be available for the app in 2016.
Google’s virtual reality headset, the Cardboard, is most often seen as a budget virtual reality headset, due to its low price and inexpensive design materials. The headset retails for around $30, making it an affordable way to get into virtual reality. The cardboard makes use of smartphones as a screen, so users do not need to purchase any special equipment.
While Google’s Cardboard may be inexpensive, other companies are planning to release more substantial headsets next year. Indeed, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of virtual reality, as the PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are all set to hit the market, among others.