Visualising through VR

Photo courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory

The 11 ideas chosen by the knight foundation all have potential to change the way we consume news. The one with most opportunity is ‘Dataverses: Information Visualization into VR Storytelling’ by The Outliers Collective. Their idea proposes the use of videos and sound to make the viewer feel immersed in the scene that they are watching.  

This could allow for viewers to be more sensitive with subjects such as war, famine and other natural or man-made disasters. The technology would allow a better understanding of circumstances that most readers would never experience otherwise. This could also be used to evoke empathy to viewers, which could be beneficial for fundraisers or awareness videos that could outline the suffering or struggle of others. 

There are a few pitfalls of this idea. The most prominent one being that some users may find it too immersive and it could take a negative effect on their mental health if they are not prepared for such emotional content. However, there could be a warning screen before the experience starts to alert viewers that they might find some content distressing.