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Virtual reality has another 'wow' moment as Jaunt introduces 360-degree cinematic videos

April 6, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Dean Takahashi / Venture Beat

I was alone in a room wearing virtual reality goggles. But it felt like I was in a park, surrounded by four Shaolin monks who were threatening me on all sides with martial arts moves. This kind of surround-video experience is what you'll get from Jaunt, a new entertainment startup coming out of stealth today.

On top of announcing a funding round, Jaunt is unveiling for the first time its new way to experience 360-degree videos in virtual reality. The company calls these new kinds of videos "cinematic VR," where you can wear virtual reality goggles and see everything around you in 360 degrees. If you turn your head in a complete circle, you'll never see the edge of the video screen.


The timing of the announcement is good, considering that Facebook just paid $2 billion for virtual reality goggles maker Oculus VR, which is paving a new era of immersive virtual reality. Jaunt's videos, which are filmed with 16-camera contraptions, make use of the Oculus Rift goggles. Jaunt�will likely�also work with other kinds of virtual reality systems, like Sony's Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.


"This is all happening a lot faster than we thought it would," said Jens Christensen, the chief executive of Jaunt, in an interview with�GamesBeat. "We want to broaden the meaning of virtual reality beyond games. We want you to feel that effect of being transported to another place."

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