Technology is continually providing us with new ways to create and publish stories. For these stories to achieve their full impact, it requires that the tools to deploy them become accessible and easy to use.
That’s one of the reasons why Mozilla has worked to develop A-Frame, a framework that makes it easy for anyone to build virtual reality experiences for the web.
Emblematic Group, founded by virtual reality pioneer Nonny de la Peña, is committed to using emerging technologies to tell important and overlooked stories, creating immersive experiences that address impactful social issues. Their most recent breakthrough project, Mother Nature, uses A-Frame, democratizing the process and allowing users to tell their own stories in WebVR.
Mother Nature is a traveling installation that invites people to rebuke claims that women are underrepresented in tech leadership and engineering roles due to ‘clear biological causes’ and seeks to give female engineers, leaders, technologists and creators a platform and voice. While working on this project, the Emblematic team was able to collaborate with Mozilla to build a new platform that utilizes A-frame to tell stories easily and quickly.
“What used to take us weeks, now only takes us minutes,” explained de la Peña, as she shared how A-Frame has changed the way she and her team create and deliver content.
As de la Peña elaborated, most journalism organizations don’t have the money to hire all the software developers needed to create VR experiences. A-Frame allows these organizations to bring their vision to life in a way that is easier, faster, and cheaper. It cuts out lengthy post production work that can take weeks and typically requires highly sophisticated computer programming. This development is an important step in bringing new voices into virtual reality.
Looking forward, Emblematic aims to create REACH, an open-source toolkit for creating and sharing stories that use high resolution photograms as backgrounds. With an initial focus on journalism funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation, Emblematic is working with the Online News Association to source and capture newsworthy locations and to support digital journalists eager to benefit from the unique capabilities of this new platform. From places like the Tijuana border to Greenland to the Supreme Court, storytellers will be able to bring their own pressing stories straight into the browser for high fidelity virtual reality in a way that previously was too costly for most newsrooms. The eventual goal is for any user with a mobile phone to be able to create and publish experiences that lets users walk around inside the story.
Learn more about Nonny de la Pena and follow the Emblematic Group by visiting their website.
Learn more about how to get started with A-Frame by visiting the official website.