Sky launches new Virtual Reality App, called Sky VR

The app is available now, for free, from Google Play and the App Store.

Maeve McLaughlin
by Maeve McLaughlin on 3rd October, 2016

Sky has launched a brand-new Virtual Reality app, called Sky VR, along with a range of immersive, 360 videos.

With this app, Sky is aiming to become the home of high-quality Virtual Reality content. Sky VR is available now for anyone to download for free through Google Play and the App Store.

To coincide with the app’s launch, Sky has also revealed two brand new Virtual Reality experiences:

  • Sky Sports: Closer featuring David Beckham, which involves David Beckham taking viewings on a journey to some of the world’s biggest sporting events, including the Grand Prix at Silverstone; and
  • An immersive re-imagining of a performance from English National Ballet’s production of Giselle ahead of its forthcoming UK tour. This will be available later in October.

In another signal that Sky is committed to VR content, Sky will also commission a series of high-end VR experiences, under the Sky VR Exclusives label. The series will include Sky News – US Elections and Tutankhamun Tomb –The Search for Nefertiti.

Currently, the Sky VR app has around twenty different pieces of 360 video content, including:

  • Star Wars: Red Carpet (Sky Cinema), which allows viewers to get closer to the red carpet at the premiere of Star Wars; The Force Awakens;
  • Anthony Joshua – Becoming World Champion, which sees Joshua as he becomes IBF world heavyweight champion;
  • Two VR experiences from The Jungle Book, enabling viewers to get up close and personal with King Louie and Kaa; and
  • Fox Innovation Lab – The Martian Sneak Peek, during which viewers will be transported to Mars to follow the film’s protagonist Mark Watney after he has been stranded on the planet.

There is also content from Sky News, and footage from Team Sky’s journey to the Tour de France, and Sky will be adding more to the app over the coming months, introducing more immersive VR features to improve the experience.

Sky’s Managing Director of Content, Gary Davey, said that Sky is just at the beginning of its VR journey, adding that “Now comes the creative challenge of deploying this immersive experience with engaging story-telling.”

Sky has been building its expertise in VR for a number of years. In 2013, the company invested in Jaunt, a US-based company pioneering cinematic virtual reality and will be sharing some content with their offering.

Since then, Sky has been carrying out testing across a range of events including an interview in VR with David Beckham and Kirsty Gallacher, which saw him select his top three Premier League goals.

If you do get the app, you’ll be able to watch immersive Virtual Reality content on your Smartphone either in conjunction with a Google Cardboard headset or in 2D (360) without a headset. The app will also work when using Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift.

You can download Sky VR for free now from Google Play and the App Store.