MOSCOW, APRIL 1, 2016RT kicks off production of news content using immersive video technology. RT was also the world’s first international TV news broadcaster to launch its own immersive video mobile application – RT360 – in December 2015.

“The VR-technologies market is evolving rapidly. Today, you can already buy virtual-reality goggles all over the world. Devices that enable the creation of panoramic videos are becoming increasingly available and affordable, and more and more platforms support the 360-video format,” says Kirill Karnovich-Valua, head of RT’s Online Projects. “The 360 video is the perfect format for broadcast news, as it gives the viewer a totally new sense of presence. It won’t be long until we see live immersive-video broadcasts. And we at RT are gearing up for that.”

RT was also one of the world’s first media organizations to launch a separate Facebook page dedicated to immersive videos. Facebook users can find themselves at a football match played by the Russian national team, watch the launch of the Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport, or tour RT studios during a newscast.

RT used the new technology in exclusive coverage of two of the front-page news stories of March 2016: the terrorist attacks in Brussels and the crash of a FlyDubai flight in Rostov-on-Don. RT’s news crew managed to make an immersive video of the crash site of ill-fated flight FZ981. After the Brussels attacks, RT was also the first news outlet to publish a 360 video of people gathering to pay tribute to the victims in the city’s central square.

Apart from the Facebook page, viewers can also watch 360 news videos on RT’s YouTube channels, both in Russian and English. RT’s VR application RT360 is available on Google Play and from the AppStore. It features RT’s first immersive mini-documentary: a 3-minute video shot with a 360-degree drone-mounted camera, which captures the scale of destruction in war-torn eastern Ukraine. This unique production enables the viewer to get a bird’s eye view of ravaged Donetsk and its bombed-out airport. The updated version of the app, to launch in the near future, will exclusively feature RT’s 360-video content.