On Thursday, The New York Times took a step into virtual reality.
NYT VR is a mobile app that can be used — along with your headphones and optionally a cardboard viewing device — to simulate richly immersive scenes from across the globe.
You can use the app on its own. But the experience is even better with a special virtual reality viewer. Thanks to a partnership with Google, NYT will be sending free Google Cardboard VR viewers to all domestic New York Times home delivery subscribers who receive the Sunday edition.
Times Insider subscribers who have chosen to receive marketing emails will also receive promotional codes via email that can be redeemed for free Cardboard viewers.
To start, The Times Magazine presents three portraits of children driven from their homes by war and persecution — an 11-year-old boy from eastern Ukraine named Oleg, a 12-year-old Syrian girl named Hana and a 9-year-old South Sudanese boy named Chuol.
War has driven 30 million children from their homes. These are the stories of three of them.
The Displaced: Introduction
Nearly 60 million people are currently displaced from their homes.
Lebanon: Hana’s Story
At 12, she has lived one-quarter of her life in a debilitating state of suspension.
South Sudan: Chuol’s Story
At 9, without his parents, he was forced to flee to the swamps.
Ukraine: Oleg’s Story
At 11, he is living in the ruins of his former life.
Why It’s Hot
NY Times is staying relevant through technology, and I think this is an important step in making VR more mainstream.
“I think it’s kind of a seminal moment regardless of whether it’s journalism or not,” says Brian Blau, research director for innovative personal technologies at Gartner. “It’s Google and the Times, two well-known brands. They’re giving away more than a million of these. That, I think, is the biggest deal… Having this many Cardboards out there is great. I’ve never heard of another organization attempting to give away that many for a single purpose.”