In July, the BBC launched its BBC Taster VR app to put experimental ideas, including interactive 360 videos, branching narrative and binaural audio, to the test with its audience.
Well, those immersive concepts must have been well-received because the BBC has just launched BBC Reality Labs, a division of BBC R&D focused on VR and AR content creation and consumption.
BBC Reality Labs’ main goals include developing and improving WebVR standards; applying its Global Experience Language (consistent UX design across all touch-points) to VR, AR and other spatial interfaces; creating pilot content with BBC’s creative teams; and researching AR’s applications within the BBC.
“The Web forms a core part of the BBC and we think WebVR could be part of that,” David Johnson wrote in the article announcing BBC Reality Labs. “Some of our focus for the next 12 months will be on the viability of the web as a platform to deliver content to our audience. The broad reach and accessibility of the web is appealing and we’ll be keeping you updated on that as we progress.”
BBC Reality Labs will also be working with exiting BBC creative teams to create immersive content, assess how VR and AR production fits into existing workflows, and identify existing and upcoming tools to assist immersive production workflows.
“We’re also keen to look a little further over the horizon at what might be possible in 5 years and start to lay the foundations for this,” Johnson wrote.
BBC Reality Labs also plans to work with various partners outside the BBC to achieve these goals.
“There’ll be times when we want to investigate and research a specific element of content creation that won’t be covered by the slate of work that our partners are working on, though,” Johnson wrote. “In these cases we’ll be working with the creative industries to make our own content to evaluate and further our own research.”