×

Syfy Is Bringing Virtual Reality to Comic-Con to Promote ‘The Expanse’

Syfy wants Comic-Con attendees to get crafty. The network is bringing 13,000 DIY Cardboard virtual reality headsets to Comic-Con in San Diego this week to promote “The Expanse,” a space drama that will premiere on Syfy in December.

Comic-Con attendees will be able to pick up their Cardboard at the Expanse Café in the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. Attendees can then assemble the headset on the spot and download Syfy’s “Expanse” app for iOS and Android to explore one of the spaceships featured in the show.

The app also works with any other Cardboard-compatible headset and can even be used in a “magic window” mode without any headset, simply by moving the phone to explore the app’s world.

It’s the first time a TV network has officially used Google’s Cardboard VR headset to promote an upcoming TV series, and the choice was a no-brainer for Syfy’s senior VP of digital Matthew Chiavelli. “Google Cardboard was sort of the ideal way to do this,” he said, adding that the barrier to entry is very low with a low-cost headset that can be given away for free and that can be used with people’s existing phones.

However, Cardboard wasn’t just cheap, but also capable, he added: “The first time you use it, it’s actually really impressive.”

The “Expanse” VR experience was produced as a collaboration between Syfy, NBCUniversal Media Labs, IM360 and Digital Domain, and the goal was to build more than just a one-off experience. Syfy will be adding new content to the app in the coming months, said Chiavelli.

Syfy is also considering the production of additional virtual reality experiences for some of its other shows, including some that may involve live-action content shot exclusively for VR. However, the network wants to make sure shows actually lend themselves to such an experience, said Chiavelli: “We don’t want to do new technology just for new technology’s sake.”

More Digital

  • apple AR patent application

    Apple Patents Gesture, Expression Tracking for Mixed Reality Headset

    Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset could include a number of sensors to track the eyes, gestures and even facial expressions of its users. The company applied for a patent to track these kinds of inputs, and combine them with information gathered from outward-facing sensors for mixed reality experiences. The patent application in question, simply titled [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

  • Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content