The Weather Channel Is Offering Viewers Mixed-Reality Tornado Coverage
The channel's first video features a tornado strike ravaging the studio in an effort to provide more vivid and immersive storytelling while also informing the public on storm safety measures in a captivating manner
The Weather Channel is boosting its entertainment value by introducing immersive mixed reality (IMR) content. For its debut, the channel ran a bit featuring anchor Jim Cantore informing the public about a tornado strike when the whole studio is ravaged by a realistic depiction of the storm, Cantore dodging flying debris and running for cover.
Throughout the virtual storm, Cantore advised the audience on what to do in the event of an actual tornado, telling viewers where to best take cover and to avoid the outermost walls of a home. The mixed reality technology thus serves double duty as a visual aid and narrative element to Cantore’s delivery, encouraging greater viewer engagement, as well as providing viewers education on the very real dangers of extreme weather.
The attention-grabbing mixed reality effects, made possible by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, could contribute to an increase in viewership thanks to more vivid and immersive story-telling, as well as provide a practical and accessible way to inform viewers on how to stay safe, particularly in a world that has increasingly extreme weather. The network plans to use this method in 80% of all its programs by 2020.