Immersive technology; the new ‘8D audio’ fad

The opportunity to use immersive technology is being seized by journalists who are seeking new and unique ways to communicate their stories to the public.

Of the Knight Foundations’ 11 chosen projects, one that particularly stands out is the ‘Spatial and Head-Locked Stereo Audio for 360 Journalism by NPR’.

The new ‘Twitter-fad’ is to listen to ‘8D audio’ versions of songs (on Youtube) that provide a fully 360-degree soundscape through a specially-encoded stereo file that has to be experienced through headphones.

Listeners are subject to a fully immersive experience. They are able to enjoy their favourite songs on a newly interactive level.

One ‘pitfall’ of immersive technology is the cost; all 11 of the Knight Foundations’ chosen projects cost over USD$15,000.

This high expense could distinguish well established journalists (who have the money to afford such technologies) and those less established.

As a result, smaller independent journalists may not have as many opportunities to use this technology.