BBC launches virtual reality news documentary series | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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In the latest of its increasing forays into virtual reality (VR), BBC is launching Damming the Nile VR, a two-part series exploring the water politics of the famous river.

BBC NIleVR 21Feb2018Damming the Nile VR takes viewers on a journey down the course of the fabled body of water, taking in its sights and sounds as they travel through canyons and fly above waterfalls. But the programme also warns that the Nile is also where the world’s first war over water could be fought and where a major new project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, threatens to upset the balance of power between neighbours and rivals Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Produced by BBC VR Hub and BBC News, the series is available now through a new BBC VR app on the Oculus Gear VR as well as via a new website along with other BBC VR highlights. The app is said to be able to give viewers a unique perspective, allowing, for instance, an ability to inspect the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam up-close and explore ancient Sudanese pyramids and Egyptian temples from a hot air balloon, before coming back down to earth in Cairo.

In addition to watching the series on a Samsung Gear VR, both parts can have viewed in full on YouTube with or without a VR headset like a Google Cardboard. A special 360° version of the films will be available to watch through the BBC News website and on Facebook.

Commenting on the launch, BBC Africa Correspondent Alastair Leithead, who will host the programme, said: “As a foreign correspondent, my job is to introduce people to new and fascinating places, challenge stereotypes and explain how countries are growing and changing. Virtual reality means films like Damming the Nile VR can actually take our audiences there so they can see it for themselves. Once you put on a headset and enter the virtual world, you come with us on assignment to Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to explore their issues up close, and understand the politics of the Nile through a unique new perspective.”

BBC VR Hub is also launching a new BBC VR app on the Oculus Gear VR store, aleady the location of high-quality mobile VR experiences from the BBC. Previously released VR titles will join Damming the Nile VR in the app at launch, with others coming throughout the year.