Click looks at the immersive world of virtual reality sound, plus a VR tour of Chernobyl and the week's tech news.
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style killings. Fans continue to lawn -- mourn the loss of prints as
authorities say there is no reason to believe his death was suicide.
And there have been plenty of them rolled out this week for the
It is the brainchild of screen legend Robert
De Niro, who set it up to
revitalise the area following the devastating events of 9/11.
And while it may not have the glamour of
Cannes or the indie cred of Sundance,
Tribeca has led the way in
the use of new technology to tell stories.
In 2011, the festival included the video game LA Noir,
and last year included a section dedicated to virtual reality.
Unsurprisingly, the VR section is even bigger this year, and at the
heart of it all, the world premiere of a British short made by BBC R
It was heaven for our eight-year-old selves.
Playing like a child's fairy tale, the intention is to immerse
Instead of lifelike visuals, the team behind it are using audio
Specifically, sound that sounds like it comes
from all around you, just
The next few minutes are best listened to through
headphones, so go and get them now, and get ready to put them on.
If you saw Click's 360 show recently, you
may have noticed that while you can look in any direction, the audio
The sounds, my voice, for example, didn't come from the
And that's because it's incredibly hard to make
..hear something going on over there.
And that's what the BBC R Department have
They are still over there when I turn round.
Right, now is the time to plug in those headphones, because a couple
of weeks before Tribeca, I got to see The Turning Forest as the team
That's interesting, because there is a
sound that is coming from over there that
makes me want to look in that
Which answers one of the questions about virtual reality -
how do you get the audience to look in the right direction at the right
Of course, you draw their attention to a sound, that's
This was created to demonstrate the sound first.
Yes, and to see how far 360 sound can go.
We wanted to explore what we can do
with natural recording and really push the microphone techniques we
were using as well to try and get a compelling sense of the forest.
After making the multidirectional recording of a real forest, Chris
Pike and his team began to add moving 3-D elements over the top.
So, every sound on the left-hand side has its own symbol in this,
which is a top down view of the scene.
And we are watching where those sounds are coming from in 3-D
The Turning Forest was originally made
for a static listener, and making sounds come from different
directions in different speakers is nothing new.
But for VR the sounds need to come from just two
And the sounds need to stay fixed in space
And to check everything is in the right place,
the sound mixer has to wear these attractive motion-tracked Princess
That is actually really disorientating, you're right.
When you've got your eyes closed as well, I
That could make one feel quite queasy.
You'd be throwing up all over the place.
direction the sound needs to come from, doesn't mean that they can
For that, the R team needed to adapt a
technique that's been around for more than a century.
It's called binaural sound, and it is
Trust me, if you haven't put your headphones on yet, now is
Now you are listening in binaural sound, which is all about
making you feel like you're really there.
And it's so much more than
just putting certain sounds into one ear and certain sounds into another.
Right now, it should really feel like I'm walking closer
to you around the left side of your
It gets better, because I can walk behind you and it really sounds
(Whispers) ..is when I come right up next to you and
Now you are sufficiently creeped out, you may be wondering how you
The secret is in the sound recordist himself,
Ed has two microphones hidden inside his very
human-looking ears on the sides of his very
human-looking ahead, and
that means that he captures sound in exactly the same way that your head
If something happens off to one side, the sound will be quieter
in the opposite ear, and it will get there slightly later.
It will also have been blocked by your skull,
bounced around the room, and ricocheted around the cartilage on
Because he looks like a head, he hears like a head.
But so far, binaural sound has only really worked if your head
In VR, however, you get to turn your head in all directions.
And that's what Chris and the team have sussed.
In their many-speakered sound room, they slowly rotated Ed while playing
sounds coming from different directions and then researched how
Now they could combine that intimate experience of binaural sound with
the free head movement of VR to create something Chris calls
One of the team's main missions is to devise a
standard way of storing all the 3-D audio information so that it can
sound best on whatever sound system it's played on.
You can adapt to the system a person is listening on, so
if they are using headphones with a racker in a VR system, they can
if they are using headphones with a tracker in a VR system, they can
If they have a 3-D system in a big home theatre, you can give them
a surround sound with height experience, but we also need to be
able to replay on a stereo and surround.
This includes a standard for dynamic binaural sound in web
browsers to better serve the growing library of 360 video we can now
stream on our computers, phones and headsets.
In fact, just this week, YouTube launched support for live
streaming VR and support for basic dynamic binaural sound.
But The Turning Forest wasn't the only
project experimenting with binaural sound and VR at Tribeca.
headset hair and take a look around at some
of the virtual reality on
Virtual reality may have come a long way in the last two years,
but for many, it's still seen as a bit of a gimmick.
But with content growing and the hope that both
prices and headset size will reduce, film-makers here are trying
to use the medium to tell stories in new ways.
One of the things that's really interesting about VR is the
It's so different to traditional film,
and I can't help thinking that is going to have
One of the hits of the festival was Allumette, a 20
minute experience based on Hans Christian Andersen's the Little
Its makers, Penrose Studios, have already been hailed as
the Pixar of VR for their focus on story and the ability to make you
Perhaps the most interesting example of
virtual reality here has been its use in highlighting various social
Notes On Blindness is designed to give you a
sense of what it might be like to be blind.
This is a story about a man who lost his sight.
It says he began keeping a diary on audio cassette,
Like The Turning Forest, it also uses
binaural sound to situate you in the VR world,
a process that the creative team found uniquely
How to represent with visuals a blind perception of the
So we used a sort of metaphorical element in 3-D
real-time, and we used also a lot of binaural
recording and synthesis to
It is amazing - the audio really gets
It's quite unique that we now have games and
experiences that are allowing you to feel
other people, to feel the
thoughts and experiences of people like that.
That's one of the things that VR will be used for in the
Several of the exhibitions here do just that.
a nine minute piece from the Guardian showcasing the
psychological effects of solitary confinement
on prison inmates in the
There is a very small table and seat area, just
a tiny sliver of light coming through.
While I found it deliberately claustrophobic, the
film proved painfully real for one former inmate.
As a person who spent a total of three years in solitary
confinement, I can tell you that the experience is very real.
It actually made me remember some of the things
that I went through when I was in solitary myself.
Feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness in a lot
of ways, endless, internal sadness of just being in a space where you
have no one to talk to, nobody to come in contact with.
It kind of really brought me back there
But not everyone here wants to put you in the shoes
The Ark is a VR film about the world's most endangered
Its makers aim to give you an almost God's-eye view of the species.
We focused on the idea that you are a
floating brain or a spirit that's doing a thing
We put you in two places simultaneously.
You look to the front of experience, you are in
Kenya, to the back you are in San Diego,
which are the two places where the genetic rescue effort is
What is clear from these and other films shown at Tribeca is
that VR is still very much in its infancy.
Cinema has had over 100 years to get where it is now, and
there is a sense that VR film-makers are only
beginning to work out and
develop the grammar for the way they tell their stories.
Who knows, in a hundred years our cinemas experience
may be a bit more like this than what we're used to.
The supersecret and relatively mysterious company Magic Leap
Demos show how to check e-mail and undertake a school project
The company say it was shot directly through its system with no use
But what they haven't told people is how it works and when we might
And if those flying jellyfish don't worry you,
Police have opened up an investigation
after a plane travelling from Geneva to Heathrow was believed to have
been hit by a drone some 1700 feet above west London.
The incident was reported by the pilot
It was also the week that Netflix opened the door to viewing content
off-line and Microsoft announced its intention to stop making
Over ten years since it originally went on sale.
And if you have ever sat on a train and wished it would hurry
The US Air Force has broken the world's speed record
for fastest vehicle travelling by magnetic levitation.
It reached a speed of 633 mph along the 2000 metre track,
beating a previous record they set themselves only days earlier.
Aside from the massive rockets, superconductive magnets are laid
It was the morning of the 26th of April 1986 when an uncontrollable
power surge in the Chernobyl reactor in northern Ukraine resulted
in one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has ever seen.
The Soviet Union said today that an accident has damaged an atomic
Anger is growing in the west over the way the Russians are
The accident sent a plume of radioactive followed
The accident sent a plume of radioactive fall-out
into the atmosphere, reaching as far away as the United
Kingdom and seriously contaminating a huge area around the site.
30 years later and very little has changed
in the nearby town of Pripyat, which was evacuated just after the
Although the radiation has dropped to safer levels in some areas
around Chernobyl, it is still understandable
Now, thanks to a new virtual reality experience, you can go
The Chernobyl VR project is the first of its kind from Polish
We wanted to make this tool to interact with it
because there is a lot of movies regarding the Chernobyl and Pripyat
disaster, so we wanted to create something that would be closer.
You are entering the virtual world, you are free to walk to different
places and your guide is telling you the story of the places
To create the project, the team made multiple trips to Chernobyl
The point was to capture thousands of photographs,
models and 360 degrees videos in order to accurately capture what
We have been recording 360 movies to make a more direct version
of the narrative and also to give some noninteractive
We have been using drones to film and we have been using special
scanners and cameras for the 3-D data.
It is incredible to see how much the area has decayed in just 30 years.
That is why another point of the project was to try to
These places, in the next years, will be fully collapsed.
So this is the last moment where you can really explore Chernobyl
The project is slated for release in the next few weeks
and will be compatible with Samsung's Fear VR
and will be compatible with Samsung's Gear VR
There came a time a few years ago when it seems that every action
sports enthusiasts under the sun felt the need to strap on
a Go-Pro camera and film themselves as they hurtled downhill.
The problem is that since the company went public nearly
two years ago, all of Go-Pro seems to be headed in that direction.
After all, how many action sports enthusiasts are there in the world?
Richard Taylor has been to Go-Pro in San Francisco to find out how
the company is planning to arrest its decline.
Over the past year or so Go-Pro has been on a more turbulent ride
It's garishly clad founder, Nick Woodman, has had to deal with
plummeting share prices, fleeing executives and failing to
hit home with new products which have given even ardent Go-Pro
Critics say it is losing its edge in delivering eye-catching
innovation, while rivals are fast making up ground with
Another challenge it has faced is competition from these things.
Smartphone cameras are arguably better, more versatile
and appealing to a mainstream audience than a standalone Go-Pro.
That is something the action-cam pioneer is keen to address.
So, Go-Pro in hand, I can survey a new landscape with
Accessories, some tie-ups with the big boys and
Witness this integrated playpen housing to capture
Other hardware allows creative remote control and access
It is essentially a remote control in the palm of your hands.
It will sync directly to your Go-Pro products and by doing that,
you can use gestures to control functionality on your Go-Pro camera.
I will tap my thumb to my finger and it will start by recording.
Different touch points do different things.
I will switch camera modes by touching this.
Really, what we're trying to do is solve one of
the biggest problems that you often hear when you are out on the side
In terms of its developer programme, automated editing of multiple
cameras through to overlaying info on top of your Go-Pro's intro are
They're also pushing into new territory,
this weekend they launched a virtual reality production
platform with cameras, rig and software costing a cool $5,000.
VR production is still niche, begging the question of
whether Go-Pro can find other products to entice more audiences.
The last product launch didn't really hit home with consumers.
What can you say to us in terms of innovation for the Hero Five or the
I can't talk you much specifically about those products,
but I can say we learned a lot from the last product release.
Perhaps the pricing was the thing that caught us
a little off guard and we didn't double down with advertising.
We know now we need more developers to help our ecosystem
and we're very focused on that, but most importantly,
we just need to make it that much easier to reach a broader audience.
Go-Pro does sport a very large fan base, but it has become clear
Maintaining that elevated status is quite another.
And just before we do go, there is one more thing we want to
It is a film put together by Canadian Guy Maddin,
but it is not a film in the traditional sense of the word.
These lost film adaptations were updated into a programme
and the programme then fragments this ectoplasmic matter of unhappy,
lost film spirits and the programme really recombines
It will generate a new movie, a new 1-of-a-kind movie out
With over 500 billion possible outcomes, the resulting film
And when the film has played out, it is then destroyed with
its name placed on the list of film obituaries alongside many classics
And the one major advantage of creating a film with the help of a
computer programme is that it does render you fairly critic-proof.
There are all kinds of possibilities facing the viewer and
you just have to trust luck and the inevitability of the fact that...
I don't know, I don't even know if I trust anything anymore.
On that triumphant note, we will leave you.
We are on Twitter should you need us throughout the week.
Just time to bring you up-to-date with how we see things panning out
across the British Isles this weekend and in the next few days.