Ukrainian Photojournalist Answers VR and IoT Questions

On September 14th, IoT Fuse hosted an evening on “Storytelling, Media & Journalism With Edge Devices & AI”

Alexey Furman kicked off the evening by presenting on his work with 360°/VR production in journalism. As the co-founder of New Cave Media, he spoke about how his company is using this immersive media to set new standards in journalism and the challenges that arise.

Here are the questions the audience asked using #IoTFuseASK and Alexey’s responses:

How do you see future immersive experiences incorporating smell, touch, etc?

I think it is possible, and I have seen such startups already, but I don’t see it hitting mass production. In other words, we most likely won’t be buying these things to use at home. There will be VR arcades all over the world that will keep getting bigger, and the experiences there will be getting better. Such arcades might borrow some ideas from 4DX cinema, for example.

What do cheaper sensors, cameras, drones and access to online platforms mean for journalism?

It means one simple thing – there will be more visual content produced, which means more potential information for the viewers to consume, but it doesn’t necessarily mean good information (it means almost the opposite). I think it is a vital time for journalists when they have to prove that the content they produce is in, so many ways, better than what citizen journalists produce. It is extremely difficult for us to balance between what people want to see and what we think is important for them to see, but I tend to be an optimist.

How much technical experience do you need to play in the internet AND journalism space? How do you learn the items you need to, to create a better experience?

The technical side is not as difficult as it seems. Despite the fact that we live in the extremely technically advanced world, content is still king. I would say don’t overthink the technical side and concentrate on the story you want to tell.

Do you see a practical application 360/VR video when filmed from a drone?

Yes, I surely do, although we have different opinions about it in our company. I know that Sergiy (a member on the New Cave Media team) loves it, for example. I personally think that it is unusual for a human body to be in the air at such a high altitude, therefore it creates a certain sense of disembodiment. It is cool when you watch on social media, but watching that in HMD… Not sure. But it obviously has a practical application when showing the scale, a certain territory etc.

What technical positions are you hiring for at New Cave Media and why?

I think we are fully equipped to produce 360° video pieces, but not yet for VR and AR. We have just hired several people for our upcoming project, Aftermath VR. They are developers that work in Unity on C#. We might also hire a 3D designer and another developer that would work on AR applications. We will see!


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