Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 3 of Rerun, your weekly digest of digital storytelling, interactive video and VR curated by Axonista.
We hope you don't hate vertical video, because in our Top Pick this week we tell you why it's going to become even more popular. In other news, Nintendo are finally making mobile games, Barbie is listening to every word your children say, Facebook is building a metaverse and Apple are finally giving the TV some love.
And before you tuck into the main course, here's what we've been snacking on this week:
- Twitter acquires Periscope, a livestreaming app to rival Meerkat
- $600m funded mysterious VR company Magic Leap release a teaser video
- 12 observations about gaming platform Steam's VR
- Pixar President talks about running a creative business
- Why Meerkat isn't just a short-lived trend
If you have any tips, suggestions or just want to say hi, you can connect with us by emailing email@example.com.
Portrait video is here to stay, you might as well just accept it now
Video is generally landscape, which is comfortable because it's how our eyes actually see the world. But with the coming of smartphones came portrait video and Vertical Video Syndrome, which quickly drew frustration from pretty much every corner of the internet. Here's the thing though, video consumption on mobile is growing insanely fast—400% in two years according to a report by Ooyala. Apps like Snapchat and Meerkat feature portrait video as a default and it actually works really well for some types of content. It just feels nice. We see a lot more of it in the future!
What we know about Nintendo’s plans for mobile games
Before you get your hopes up—no, it's not Pokémon. What Nintendo have announced is that they're planning to bring a small number of 'quality' titles to mobile. Their plan is to use these titles to lure people into buying a dedicated Nintendo games console. Nevertheless they are the most recognisable name in the games industry and we're super excited to see what their first move is. Mario Kart on the daily commute? Sign us up!
Dolls that talk aren't anything new. But what about dolls that listen to you, send your voice to a server farm, analyse it, learn about you and send back a customised bit of speech? This is exactly what the new Barbie doll does, and it has raised a chorus of privacy concerns. We can't decide if it's cool or creepy.
Facebook, Oculus and the future of virtual reality
There's a lot of talk around virtual reality—in particular the Oculus Rift—but there's been less talk about Facebook's role in all of it. In a future where you can be transported virtually anywhere, what does a newsfeed look like? How do you communicate with your friends? How you do share an experience? What exactly is the 'metaverse' that Mark Zuckerberg keeps mentioning? This is one of those articles that will get you thinking.
Topshop's live front row telepresence at London Fashion Week
One of the most exciting uses for virtual reality is putting you right in the middle of exclusive live events. This project by Inition for Topshop puts you in a front row seat at London Fashion Week, mingling with celebs and just inches from the catwalk. The experience is augmented by falling leaves containing tweets and 360 celeb selfies. It looks like it was a success and we're really excited to see what else can be done. Sitting in the dugout beside the manager at a football final?
YouTube now supports 360 degree videos
With a range of 360 cameras on their way to market, it's a great time to start experimenting with 360 degree videos. When combined with a VR headset it means you can simply hit 'play' and be transported straight into the middle of the video, with the ability to look in any direction. This week YouTube announced support for them, just in time for the flood of early adopters.
The Cord Cutter
It feels like every week someone is launching a new streaming service in the US. With Sling, HBO and Playstation joining the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, the options are already getting pretty overwhelming. How do you keep track of which channels are available on which service, and for how much money? This simple app by The Verge is a great way to see exactly that.
Apple may soon launch a live TV service
We've been waiting impatiently for the Apple TV to offer something—anything—new for years now. There are strong rumours that Apple will announce their own TV service later this year, with the Apple TV the logical platform for it. Of course the available channels, pricing and countries it'll be available in are all unknown, but it's a welcome move.
A fun little game where you guess the Google autocorrect
Readers of a certain age will remember Family Fortunes—that's Family Feud to our international readers—where contestants would try guess the most popular responses to a survey question. Well with GoogleFeud you have to try guess how Google would autocomplete a search query, based on the most popular searches. It's fun and frequently surprising! Have a great weekend!