Discovery’s diving into the world of virtual reality, on Thursday launching Android and iPhone apps offering fans of the channel some awesome short-from VR videos.
It’s all part of its new Discovery VR initiative aiming to explore the capabilities and potential of the platform, and offers exclusive immersive comment from hit shows such as Gold Rush, Survivorman, and MythBusters.
Initial content lets you swim with sharks without getting your feet wet, or freeboard down San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street (without hitting the deck).
Those looking for a more laid back VR experience can take in a serene 360-degree coastal view of California’s Half Moon Bay or check out Muir Woods, famous for its towering redwoods.
Conal Byrne, Discovery’s senior vice president of digital media, told the AP the initiative will help the company find out what works best in the new format. It also wants to know what doesn’t work in terms of content or filming techniques that might leave you feeling a little queasy.
Byrne said it “needs to be repeated that we’re experimenting a lot,” adding, “There are borders and boundaries that we’re really going to try to push.”
Discovery VR currently offers nine videos in all, with many more on the way. Strap on a VR headset for the best viewing experience, though you can still have fun dragging the 360-degree picture around on your PC screen, or by watching them on your smartphone display and spinning around on the spot.
“Discovery has always been about driving curiosity – exploring new places, characters and ideas,” the channel says on its app pages, adding, “Virtual reality allows us a new opportunity to tell these kinds of stories, immersing you in experiences like never before.”
You can find out everything you need to know about Discovery VR by visiting its dedicated site here.