We all knew that the Oculus Rift was going to be absolutely huge when it came to games. There was just no way around it; this was the closest we were ever going to come—for now, at least—to actual virtual reality gaming in our homes. But along with that came speculations in pretty short order about what kind of value this could have with other points like movies and television shows. Now, reports have emerged about Sir David Attenborough's next nature documentary, and it's going to pull all the power the Oculus Rift can generate.
Titled “Conquest of the Skies,” the new Atlantic Productions Documentary will feature “360 degree views of Borneo,” and as such, makes it a particularly good fit for the Oculus Rift. Attenborough himself is already well-known for such nature shows as “Life” and several other BBC series. As for the technical end of things, much of the footage for “Conquest of the Skies” was shot with an eight camera rig so as to allow users a full 360 degree view of Borneo and environs.
Of course, this brings to mind the almost-immediate question of “What happens if someone wants to look down,” making perhaps some wonder why there wasn't a ninth camera added to tackle “down”. But still, this is a brilliant idea, and it makes me wonder just how much farther we could go with this concept. While the Oculus Rift isn't exactly ready for such things yet—the frame rate needs to be improved, as does the resolution, two points that, at last report, would likely be ready when the device goes into wide sale—it might well be ready by the time Attenborough and Atlantic Productions gets the film ready. Indeed, such a thing could be a staggering development for most every genre of film.
Consider the impact of an action, science fiction or horror film with the power of a virtual reality-style presentation behind it; monsters jumping at the viewer, explosions in every directions, the Borg taking Wolf 359 while you escape in a shuttlecraft, one of the last survivors of that horrible day that cost Starfleet so many lives...the possibilities roll on and on. All of this could be made possible by the same technology that allows a user to look left in “Call of Duty: Ghosts.”
Of course, these are still as yet just possibilities. There's still a lot of potential for this to never pan out, or take on a completely different form entirely. But by like token, it's also distinctly possible that the Oculus Rift may well end up replacing the television for video games and movies alike. Only time will tell, in the end, but man does it ever give me ideas for a screenplay or two. There's no word as yet as to when “Conquest of the Skies” will arrive on video, but when it does it should offer some staggering visuals, and present us with a whole new look at a world we may well have already seen.