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Associated Press goes VR with “The Suite Life”


This week, the Associated Press released its first news feature in fully immersive 3D and virtual reality with the help of Matterport technology.


Matterport has developed technologies that can help media companies push the boundaries of content creation and deliver truly immersive and interactive storytelling experiences to audiences online, on mobile, and in virtual reality. This technology is providing an entirely new way to experience the world and interact with different places of interest, whether it’s walking through a prospective new home, strolling through a faraway museum, or going inside locations featured in today’s news. Broadly, Matterport is establishing real-world 3D content as a new medium.


We’re thrilled to see that the Associated Press feels the same way about immersive virtual content, and is using Matterport to create 3D content for journalism. With their recent release of “The suite life”, published both online and in a dedicated virtual reality app for Samsung Gear VR, the Associated Press is participating in the growing VR trend. This is a giant leap for 3D content as a storytelling medium.


In “The suite life” (available now in the Oculus store) viewers can visit the suite class of Singapore Airlines, the Grand Duplex suite aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 ocean liner, and the Ty Warner Penthouse suite at the Four Seasons in New York. Each space was captured using Matterport’s 3D camera for use in virtual reality.


This is just the beginning of virtual reality in news and entertainment, and we have already seen engaging content published by local outlets like the Detroit Free Press, which is using Matterport’s technology to tell the stories of culturally significant spaces.


The AP’s exploration of virtual reality content signals the viability of immersive storytelling in mainstream media. "Each new publishing technology reinvents how we experience news, and VR promises the next revolution by immersing us deep in a story," said Paul Cheung, AP's director of interactive news.


The introduction of immersive 3D content as a new medium will no doubt trigger vibrant conversations around the role of 3D and VR technology in journalism and storytelling. The power of virtual reality to create exceptionally immersive experiences that generate an enhanced sense of understanding and empathy is already known. We are excited to see what storytellers around the world will do with this technology.

How to experience AP's "The suite life":

  • View the interactive 3D experience online.
  • For a virtual reality version of “The Suite Life,” visit the Oculus store using the Samsung Gear VR and download “The Suite Life.”