Could we finally have an alternative for those often-dangerous, regularly-derided outdoor live shots by meteorologists and tv news reporters during storm events?
For the past two years, The Weather Channel has plowed a bit of $$ and effort into something called immersive mixed reality.
In part, the effort is due to the need to “feed the beast” across all platforms, a herculean task.
“It’s all about getting away from the flat map,” says weather presentation director Michael Chesterfield.
And here is an example of how it looks.
Standing in a street with rapidly rising waters, The Weather Channel meteorologist Chris Warren is imploring drivers to steer clear of flash floods.
Moments later, as if to prove his point, a car floats by.
Only, Warren isn’t risking his life to record the network’s latest extreme weather segment.
Instead, he’s being taped in front of a green screen in the network’s studios in Atlanta, and the dangerous flooding is being added via visual effects in real time.
This is a PSA.
But as the technology improves, by next year, TWC wants to feature immersive mixed reality in 80% of its on-air programming.
Further down the road, we can see this being employed as a means of illustrating real-time storm coverage (clearly labelled, of course) to keep crews out of harm’s way.
Because we all hate those live shots of people out in the middle of the mess telling people to “stay out of the middle of the mess,” don’t we?