Sports Illustrated's 2016 swimsuit issue goes VR with 360-degree videos

Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue is joining the virtual reality trend. The newly launched SI Swimsuit app includes VR video content that supports both Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR accessories.

According to Engadget, the app will launch with five VR videos for free, with additional videos added on a weekly basis that can be checked out for an additional fee. They will feature many of SI's swimsuit models in full 360-degree videos. The print edition of the SI Swimsuit issue will also come with a Cardboard-like viewer:

For those who either don't have access to a VR headset or simply don't pick up the print issue for its pack-in viewer, there's an option to watch the videos on a smartphone. The SI team calls this the "magic window," and it's slickly done: You can spin around and peer at the models in a seamless, 360-degree environment.

The article adds that the idea for adding VR content to the app happened when Chris Hercik, the creative director of Sports Illustrated, got a demo of the upcoming HTC Vive headset several months ago in Seattle:

"I immediately flew back and said, 'I have to get people to see this, because I really think it's going to be a game changer.' We got the staff to see it. We looked at it. And we're like right away, 'We gotta do a shoot.' We knew we had to do something in VR for this year," says Hercik."

You can download the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit app now from iTunes.

Source: Engadget

John Callaham

I have been writing professionally about technology and gaming news for 14 years.