Flipping through a newspaper, feeling the flimsy paper in your hands and finding your fingerprints smudged with ink might by a dying ritual; however The Wall Street Journal is hoping that people still want to take the time to sit, peruse and consume the news at a leisurely pace. Instead of hanging out at a cafe rifling through physical pages, readers can now enter an architect-designed virtual New York apartment to get their news fix thanks to the publication's just-launched VR news app.
WSJ VR is the newspaper's new virtual reality app for Google's Daydream platform, ushering news junkies into a different kind of reading experience. Now available to download via Google Play, it allows users to view a wall filled with a live feed of breaking news, watch interactive 360-degree videos and see a visualisation of real-time market data, all in swanky digs designed by architecture firm Michaelis Boyd.
Interactive storytelling is the WSJ's main focus, particularly allowing "the Journal's reporters and editors to take readers and viewers of our journalism anywhere in the world," said Andy Regal, WSJ's Global Head of Video, in a statement. Whether that's something anyone actually wants is yet to be seen, but it's certainly quite different to scrolling through newsfeeds on a smartphone screen.
Users can do more than read, watch and see the news while they're using the app; they can also engage with the space — which is based on a mix of the firm's real-life residential projects — on a 360-degree axis. Accordingly, even if you're not keen on staying up-to-date on global events and financial developments in the most immersive way possible, the app also offers views of the New York City skyline — and it's cheaper than a plane ticket.