Presidential inaugurations have historically been big news for national (and international) news media organizations. Print newspapers typically experience record sales with reprints often required as citizens look to commemorate the event. The upcoming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump is expected to be no exception. USA TODAY NETWORK has added intrigue to the day by announcing that it will be livestreaming Trump's inauguration in virtual reality and 360-degree video.
While you literally can't buy a ticket today to Washington, D.C. by train or air, USA TODAY NETWORK's VRtually There weekly VR news series (launched in October 2016) will make it possible for audiences to feel as though they are there on January 20 to personally experience the inauguration of Donald Trump through multi-platform virtual reality and 360-degree technology. Streaming coverage begins around 9:30 a.m. concurrent with the commencement of the pomp and circumstance.
The question for many will be how close to the action do you want to get? USA TODAY NETWORK is betting that people will want to get very close indeed! As a media "A" lister, our 45th President-elect magnetically draws super-sized audiences across all screens. Plainly, his inauguration will not be an exception.
While the VRtually There coverage of the inauguration will be virtual and may even feel a bit surreal it will be real news. With that said, sentiments regarding the upcoming political regime are already surfacing in the news zeitgeist and on social media. On January 15, Damien Love of the Scottish Sunday Herald teased that the election of the 45th President of the United States is a "huge interactive virtual reality project" that will set out "to build an ongoing alternative present."
"[We] continue to innovate to bring our audience the best possible version of our storytelling capabilities, in the medium they wish," said Russ Torres, Vice President of Video Content for USA TODAY NETWORK. "We're thrilled to be able to transport our audience to this historic event and have them feel like they are physically there as history unfolds. It's something extraordinary, and we're extremely proud to be pioneers in VR storytelling."
The livestream will feature multiple VR camera angles positioned at the Capitol, the National Mall and along the inaugural parade route for a fully immersive experience. The cameras are provided by Nikon, who is working exclusively with USA TODAY NETWORK using a customized KeyMission 360 camera that allows the Network to livestream in 360-degrees via in-camera stitching. It will be available in VR headsets via the USA Today channel in the YouTube app. The livestream will also be available in 360-degree format via the USA TODAY YouTube channel for desktop and mobile users.
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