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Jaunt Releases Virtual Reality Video App for Consumers

Paul McCartney performance available in 360-degree video

Virtual Reality video company JauntVR has introduced its first publicly available VR viewer and a clip to show what it can do: a live performance by Paul McCartney.

The McCartney clip features the ex-Beatle performing “Life and Let Die” during the final concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.

“Paul is the perfect ambassador for this new medium, because he’s so widely respected,” said Scott Broock, Jaunt’s VP of content. “A lot of people love Sir Paul McCartney.”

The app, which rolls out on Google Play today, is available through the Jaunt website. To view the clip in 3D VR, consumers will need a recent Android phone, the Jaunt app and a Google Cardboard holder, which turns the phone into VR goggles. The app is also capable of showing 2D virtual reality video on its own, without a Cardboard holder.

See Also: Variety Produces First Virtual Reality Red Carpet Coverage

Google Cardboard is a simple, inexpensive phone holder with lenses and a few other pieces that the viewer operate some of the phone’s controls. Some models are literally made of cardboard. There is already a selection through online retailers such as Amazon. Jaunt will recommend providers on its site.

Unlike Oculus, which is building its goggles for gaming, Jaunt is focused on shooting live-action video. Jaunt’s VR video provides 360-degree, 3D views of events. Using a phone and headphones, consumers can get an immersive experience, including the ability to look around at will. Jaunt plans to soon release apps for Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift VR goggles. The company is also at work on an iOS app.

While neither Oculus nor Samsung have released consumer versions of their VR Goggles, tens of millions of people can easily get their hands on an Android phone, an inexpensive Cardboard holdersand the free Jaunt app. Jaunt execs believe that will be the path to mass adoption of VR.

Broock said Jaunt hopes McCartney’s example will inspire more musicians to try VR and to see it as “a fascinating new way to reach people with their music in a completely different way. You can put people right there with you onstage, giving them access they would not otherwise have.”

Jaunt plans to release VR video content via its site regularly, with the pace ramping up over time. “There’s going to be a lot of content coming out by year’s end,” said Broock.

Jaunt and Variety have partnered since July on VR coverage of entertainment events. Those Jaunt/Variety VR clips are expected to be available soon.

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