23/04/2016 Click


23/04/2016

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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Transcript


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style killings. Fans continue to lawn -- mourn the loss of prints as

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authorities say there is no reason to believe his death was suicide.

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And there have been plenty of them rolled out this week for the

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It is the brainchild of screen legend Robert

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De Niro, who set it up to

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revitalise the area following the devastating events of 9/11.

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And while it may not have the glamour of

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Cannes or the indie cred of Sundance,

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Tribeca has led the way in

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the use of new technology to tell stories.

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In 2011, the festival included the video game LA Noir,

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and last year included a section dedicated to virtual reality.

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Unsurprisingly, the VR section is even bigger this year, and at the

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heart of it all, the world premiere of a British short made by BBC R

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It was heaven for our eight-year-old selves.

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Playing like a child's fairy tale, the intention is to immerse

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Instead of lifelike visuals, the team behind it are using audio

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Specifically, sound that sounds like it comes

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from all around you, just

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The next few minutes are best listened to through

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headphones, so go and get them now, and get ready to put them on.

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If you saw Click's 360 show recently, you

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may have noticed that while you can look in any direction, the audio

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The sounds, my voice, for example, didn't come from the

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And that's because it's incredibly hard to make

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..hear something going on over there.

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And that's what the BBC R Department have

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They are still over there when I turn round.

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Right, now is the time to plug in those headphones, because a couple

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of weeks before Tribeca, I got to see The Turning Forest as the team

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That's interesting, because there is a

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sound that is coming from over there that

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makes me want to look in that

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Which answers one of the questions about virtual reality -

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how do you get the audience to look in the right direction at the right

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Of course, you draw their attention to a sound, that's

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This was created to demonstrate the sound first.

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Yes, and to see how far 360 sound can go.

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We wanted to explore what we can do

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with natural recording and really push the microphone techniques we

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were using as well to try and get a compelling sense of the forest.

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After making the multidirectional recording of a real forest, Chris

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Pike and his team began to add moving 3-D elements over the top.

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So, every sound on the left-hand side has its own symbol in this,

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which is a top down view of the scene.

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And we are watching where those sounds are coming from in 3-D

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The Turning Forest was originally made

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for a static listener, and making sounds come from different

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directions in different speakers is nothing new.

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But for VR the sounds need to come from just two

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And the sounds need to stay fixed in space

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And to check everything is in the right place,

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the sound mixer has to wear these attractive motion-tracked Princess

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That is actually really disorientating, you're right.

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When you've got your eyes closed as well, I

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That could make one feel quite queasy.

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You'd be throwing up all over the place.

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direction the sound needs to come from, doesn't mean that they can

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For that, the R team needed to adapt a

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technique that's been around for more than a century.

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It's called binaural sound, and it is

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Trust me, if you haven't put your headphones on yet, now is

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Now you are listening in binaural sound, which is all about

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making you feel like you're really there.

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And it's so much more than

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just putting certain sounds into one ear and certain sounds into another.

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Right now, it should really feel like I'm walking closer

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to you around the left side of your

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It gets better, because I can walk behind you and it really sounds

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(Whispers) ..is when I come right up next to you and

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Now you are sufficiently creeped out, you may be wondering how you

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The secret is in the sound recordist himself,

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Ed has two microphones hidden inside his very

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human-looking ears on the sides of his very

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human-looking ahead, and

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that means that he captures sound in exactly the same way that your head

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If something happens off to one side, the sound will be quieter

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in the opposite ear, and it will get there slightly later.

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It will also have been blocked by your skull,

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bounced around the room, and ricocheted around the cartilage on

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Because he looks like a head, he hears like a head.

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But so far, binaural sound has only really worked if your head

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In VR, however, you get to turn your head in all directions.

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And that's what Chris and the team have sussed.

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In their many-speakered sound room, they slowly rotated Ed while playing

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sounds coming from different directions and then researched how

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Now they could combine that intimate experience of binaural sound with

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the free head movement of VR to create something Chris calls

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One of the team's main missions is to devise a

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standard way of storing all the 3-D audio information so that it can

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sound best on whatever sound system it's played on.

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You can adapt to the system a person is listening on, so

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if they are using headphones with a racker in a VR system, they can

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if they are using headphones with a tracker in a VR system, they can

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If they have a 3-D system in a big home theatre, you can give them

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a surround sound with height experience, but we also need to be

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able to replay on a stereo and surround.

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This includes a standard for dynamic binaural sound in web

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browsers to better serve the growing library of 360 video we can now

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stream on our computers, phones and headsets.

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In fact, just this week, YouTube launched support for live

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streaming VR and support for basic dynamic binaural sound.

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But The Turning Forest wasn't the only

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project experimenting with binaural sound and VR at Tribeca.

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headset hair and take a look around at some

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of the virtual reality on

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Virtual reality may have come a long way in the last two years,

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but for many, it's still seen as a bit of a gimmick.

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But with content growing and the hope that both

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prices and headset size will reduce, film-makers here are trying

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to use the medium to tell stories in new ways.

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One of the things that's really interesting about VR is the

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It's so different to traditional film,

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and I can't help thinking that is going to have

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One of the hits of the festival was Allumette, a 20

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minute experience based on Hans Christian Andersen's the Little

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Its makers, Penrose Studios, have already been hailed as

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the Pixar of VR for their focus on story and the ability to make you

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Perhaps the most interesting example of

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virtual reality here has been its use in highlighting various social

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Notes On Blindness is designed to give you a

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sense of what it might be like to be blind.

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This is a story about a man who lost his sight.

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It says he began keeping a diary on audio cassette,

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Like The Turning Forest, it also uses

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binaural sound to situate you in the VR world,

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a process that the creative team found uniquely

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How to represent with visuals a blind perception of the

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So we used a sort of metaphorical element in 3-D

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real-time, and we used also a lot of binaural

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recording and synthesis to

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It is amazing - the audio really gets

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It's quite unique that we now have games and

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experiences that are allowing you to feel

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other people, to feel the

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thoughts and experiences of people like that.

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That's one of the things that VR will be used for in the

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Several of the exhibitions here do just that.

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a nine minute piece from the Guardian showcasing the

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psychological effects of solitary confinement

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on prison inmates in the

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There is a very small table and seat area, just

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a tiny sliver of light coming through.

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While I found it deliberately claustrophobic, the

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film proved painfully real for one former inmate.

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As a person who spent a total of three years in solitary

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confinement, I can tell you that the experience is very real.

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It actually made me remember some of the things

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that I went through when I was in solitary myself.

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Feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness in a lot

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of ways, endless, internal sadness of just being in a space where you

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have no one to talk to, nobody to come in contact with.

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It kind of really brought me back there

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But not everyone here wants to put you in the shoes

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The Ark is a VR film about the world's most endangered

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Its makers aim to give you an almost God's-eye view of the species.

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We focused on the idea that you are a

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floating brain or a spirit that's doing a thing

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We put you in two places simultaneously.

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You look to the front of experience, you are in

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Kenya, to the back you are in San Diego,

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which are the two places where the genetic rescue effort is

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What is clear from these and other films shown at Tribeca is

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that VR is still very much in its infancy.

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Cinema has had over 100 years to get where it is now, and

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there is a sense that VR film-makers are only

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beginning to work out and

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develop the grammar for the way they tell their stories.

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Who knows, in a hundred years our cinemas experience

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may be a bit more like this than what we're used to.

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The supersecret and relatively mysterious company Magic Leap

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Demos show how to check e-mail and undertake a school project

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The company say it was shot directly through its system with no use

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But what they haven't told people is how it works and when we might

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And if those flying jellyfish don't worry you,

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Police have opened up an investigation

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after a plane travelling from Geneva to Heathrow was believed to have

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been hit by a drone some 1700 feet above west London.

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The incident was reported by the pilot

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It was also the week that Netflix opened the door to viewing content

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off-line and Microsoft announced its intention to stop making

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Over ten years since it originally went on sale.

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And if you have ever sat on a train and wished it would hurry

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The US Air Force has broken the world's speed record

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for fastest vehicle travelling by magnetic levitation.

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It reached a speed of 633 mph along the 2000 metre track,

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beating a previous record they set themselves only days earlier.

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Aside from the massive rockets, superconductive magnets are laid

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It was the morning of the 26th of April 1986 when an uncontrollable

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power surge in the Chernobyl reactor in northern Ukraine resulted

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in one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has ever seen.

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The Soviet Union said today that an accident has damaged an atomic

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Anger is growing in the west over the way the Russians are

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The accident sent a plume of radioactive followed

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The accident sent a plume of radioactive fall-out

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into the atmosphere, reaching as far away as the United

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Kingdom and seriously contaminating a huge area around the site.

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30 years later and very little has changed

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in the nearby town of Pripyat, which was evacuated just after the

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Although the radiation has dropped to safer levels in some areas

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around Chernobyl, it is still understandable

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Now, thanks to a new virtual reality experience, you can go

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The Chernobyl VR project is the first of its kind from Polish

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We wanted to make this tool to interact with it

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because there is a lot of movies regarding the Chernobyl and Pripyat

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disaster, so we wanted to create something that would be closer.

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You are entering the virtual world, you are free to walk to different

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places and your guide is telling you the story of the places

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To create the project, the team made multiple trips to Chernobyl

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The point was to capture thousands of photographs,

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models and 360 degrees videos in order to accurately capture what

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We have been recording 360 movies to make a more direct version

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of the narrative and also to give some noninteractive

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We have been using drones to film and we have been using special

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scanners and cameras for the 3-D data.

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It is incredible to see how much the area has decayed in just 30 years.

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That is why another point of the project was to try to

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These places, in the next years, will be fully collapsed.

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So this is the last moment where you can really explore Chernobyl

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The project is slated for release in the next few weeks

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and will be compatible with Samsung's Fear VR

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and will be compatible with Samsung's Gear VR

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There came a time a few years ago when it seems that every action

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sports enthusiasts under the sun felt the need to strap on

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a Go-Pro camera and film themselves as they hurtled downhill.

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The problem is that since the company went public nearly

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two years ago, all of Go-Pro seems to be headed in that direction.

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After all, how many action sports enthusiasts are there in the world?

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Richard Taylor has been to Go-Pro in San Francisco to find out how

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the company is planning to arrest its decline.

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Over the past year or so Go-Pro has been on a more turbulent ride

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It's garishly clad founder, Nick Woodman, has had to deal with

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plummeting share prices, fleeing executives and failing to

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hit home with new products which have given even ardent Go-Pro

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Critics say it is losing its edge in delivering eye-catching

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innovation, while rivals are fast making up ground with

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Another challenge it has faced is competition from these things.

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Smartphone cameras are arguably better, more versatile

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and appealing to a mainstream audience than a standalone Go-Pro.

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That is something the action-cam pioneer is keen to address.

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So, Go-Pro in hand, I can survey a new landscape with

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Accessories, some tie-ups with the big boys and

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Witness this integrated playpen housing to capture

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Other hardware allows creative remote control and access

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It is essentially a remote control in the palm of your hands.

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It will sync directly to your Go-Pro products and by doing that,

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you can use gestures to control functionality on your Go-Pro camera.

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I will tap my thumb to my finger and it will start by recording.

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Different touch points do different things.

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I will switch camera modes by touching this.

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Really, what we're trying to do is solve one of

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the biggest problems that you often hear when you are out on the side

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In terms of its developer programme, automated editing of multiple

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cameras through to overlaying info on top of your Go-Pro's intro are

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They're also pushing into new territory,

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this weekend they launched a virtual reality production

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platform with cameras, rig and software costing a cool $5,000.

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VR production is still niche, begging the question of

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whether Go-Pro can find other products to entice more audiences.

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The last product launch didn't really hit home with consumers.

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What can you say to us in terms of innovation for the Hero Five or the

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I can't talk you much specifically about those products,

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but I can say we learned a lot from the last product release.

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Perhaps the pricing was the thing that caught us

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a little off guard and we didn't double down with advertising.

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We know now we need more developers to help our ecosystem

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and we're very focused on that, but most importantly,

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we just need to make it that much easier to reach a broader audience.

:22:01.:22:06.

Go-Pro does sport a very large fan base, but it has become clear

:22:07.:22:09.

Maintaining that elevated status is quite another.

:22:10.:22:19.

And just before we do go, there is one more thing we want to

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It is a film put together by Canadian Guy Maddin,

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but it is not a film in the traditional sense of the word.

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These lost film adaptations were updated into a programme

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and the programme then fragments this ectoplasmic matter of unhappy,

:22:46.:22:50.

lost film spirits and the programme really recombines

:22:51.:22:54.

It will generate a new movie, a new 1-of-a-kind movie out

:22:55.:23:03.

With over 500 billion possible outcomes, the resulting film

:23:04.:23:09.

And when the film has played out, it is then destroyed with

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its name placed on the list of film obituaries alongside many classics

:23:17.:23:25.

And the one major advantage of creating a film with the help of a

:23:26.:23:36.

computer programme is that it does render you fairly critic-proof.

:23:37.:23:42.

There are all kinds of possibilities facing the viewer and

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you just have to trust luck and the inevitability of the fact that...

:23:46.:23:49.

I don't know, I don't even know if I trust anything anymore.

:23:50.:24:01.

On that triumphant note, we will leave you.

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We are on Twitter should you need us throughout the week.

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Just time to bring you up-to-date with how we see things panning out

:24:09.:24:42.

across the British Isles this weekend and in the next few days.

:24:43.:24:44.

Quite

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