This week, Professor Nancy Andrews kicked off her journalism class with an unfamiliar addition: a fleet of Matterport Pro Cameras, charged and ready to capture real spaces.Nancy Andrews, former Managing Editor for Digital Media at the Detroit Free Press, has been an early experimenter with Matterport reality capture in journalism. She used Matterport immersive 3D content to tell the stories of Detroit, including the restoration of the historic Boblo Boat, the repurposing of the abandoned Detroit Stock Exchange, and giving a behind-the-scenes look at the Detroit Auto Show.
Andrews has since taken Matterport to West Virginia University as a visiting professor in Media Innovation. WVU and Matterport have partnered to provide our Pro Cameras to journalism students, who will gain first-hand knowledge of our system and use it to explore complex topics around 360˚ photography and virtual reality storytelling for journalism.
We are glad to be part of the evolution of 3D media as a storytelling and journalistic tool. New media forms like virtual reality are already pushing the boundaries of how we traditionally think of narrative. Journalism has evolved quickly in the digital era, and media companies are constantly innovating in order to improve engagement with their audiences. The result has been innovative multimedia features that use many types of written and rich content to paint a complete picture of a topic or event.
We see our high-fidelity digital recreations of real locations as a critical technology for news and media, driving multimedia reporting even farther by empowering journalists to quickly convey an accurate sense of a place and time on the web and in VR. Furthermore, it makes the media consumption experience deeply interactive, allowing the user to actively drive exploration of the content of the story.
Last April, Matterport formed our Media Partnerships team led by former Global Head of Products (Entertainment) at the Associated Press, Michael Dutton. Dutton and team have since brokered partnerships with the Associated Press, the Washington Post, Hulu and other media outlets to expand the use of our 3D media platform in journalism and entertainment.
“We are thrilled that Professor Andrews is taking such innovative steps by introducing Matterport’s technology into the WVU College of Media curriculum in this progressive way,” said Dutton. “The Matterport immersive media platform is an excellent tool for enhancing news stories, and we are very excited to see how the students at WVU will put the technology to use and innovate with this great new storytelling medium.”
Leading news outlets have always sought to hone the craft of imparting the essence of a story to their readership, conveying the true sense of a moment in time, and putting their readers in a place. With Matterport’s technology, media outlets can now do this far more easily by bringing audiences to the site of the story and allowing them to explore a place as if they were truly there.
We’re excited to find that media outlets are enthusiastically embracing immersive storytelling tools like Matterport, and can’t wait to see the innovative tales that will be told by a new generation of journalists versed in immersive digital technology.