Sky bets on virtual-reality TV with Jaunt investment

Everyone is excited about the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive and PlayStation Morpheus, and it seems that television companies have also caught the virtual-reality bug. Sky TV has upped its stake in “cinematic” virtual-reality company Jaunt to the tune of £580,000  taking their total investment past the £1 million mark.

Jaunt  a California-based company that claims its tech will ensure “you will feel transported directly into the middle of the action” – has already worked on a handful of collaborations with Sky’s original content, including Penny Dreadful, Trollied and Got To Dance, along with some of their sports coverage. There’s more to come over the next year, apparently, as you’d expect after Sky more than doubled their investment.

Stuart Murphy, director of entertainment at Sky, said: “Jaunt are the pioneers of Cinematic VR. The market is developing lightning-fast, so it is brilliant for us to be hand in glove with the team right at the cutting edge. It’s been amazing working with them over the last two years as we begin to see the technology take off.”sky_tv_box

Sky are far from the only ones betting on cinematic virtual reality. Variety reports that the latest round of funding – including the likes of Disney and China Media Capital – has seen the startup raise an additional $65 million, taking its total funding past the $100 million mark.

Of course, getting the funding is one thing – it’s quite another whether the technology will properly take off. Sky, lest we forget, initially bet big on home 3D television programming, but closed its dedicated channel earlier this year. The company will be hoping that cinematic virtual reality has better stamina – and much of that will depend on companies such as Jaunt making compelling reasons for the average TV viewer to invest in the technology.

Images: Maurizio Pesce and Sean MacEntee used under Creative Commons

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