Weather Channel Debuts Mixed Reality Safety Segment Ahead Of Hurricane Dorian
MR technology brings this disaster preparedness segment to life with immersive visuals.
The Weather Channel is no stranger to immersive mixed reality technology. Over the past couple of years, the network has worked alongside mixed reality specialists The Future Group to enhance its coverage with everything from virtual ice storms and wildfires, to hyper-realistic tornados and flooding that tears apart TWC HQ.
Today, Weather Channel debuted a brand new immersive mixed reality segment that educates users on the proper steps for dealing with a potentially deadly hurricane. Lead by on-camera meteorologist Stephanie Abrams, the segment uses intense mixed reality visuals to more effectively communicate important safety and evacuation tips.
Standing in the front yard of a mixed reality home, Abrams breaks down the process, from 48 hours out to just minutes before the storm’s arrival. As she continues with her report, the scene becomes increasingly chaotic as the inclement weather steadily becomes more violent.
At 48 hours, Abrams—assisted by a floating mixed reality chart, begins breaking down the contents of an effective evacuation kit using a floating mixed reality list; this includes such items as a battery-powered radio, first aid kit, a 3 day supply of food and water, as well as several other key necessities for survival. 24 hours ahead of landfall, Abrams explains the proper procedure for securing your home from potential damage.
During this explanation, virtual shutters can be seen closing on the mixed reality home behind the reporter. Meanwhile, random objects scattered across the digital lawn evaporate from existence. When discussing the possibility of evacuation, the virtual SUV parked in the driveway of the home backs out of the frame. At landfall, intense gusts of wind and debris surround the reporter, who just then narrowly avoids being crushed by a falling palm tree.
Developed in partnership with State Farm, Weather Channel’s hurricane-focused MR segment is the first to feature sponsored branding, opening up a new form of on-air marketing that uses mixed reality technology to more naturally integrate promotional content into a broadcast.
In this segment, for example, Abrams directs the user’s attention to a news report on television, during which several State Farm logos and text can be seen scattered across the screen. Much like the State Farm product placement, future sponsorships will be introduced subtly into mixed reality environments as to not drive attention away from the vital content being communicated.
Moving forward, Weather Channel hopes to incorporate immersive mixed reality technology into 80% of its programming by the year 2020.
Featured Image Credit: The Weather Channel