Immersive Media Creating 360-Degree, Geo-Coded Interactive Videos of Haiti Earthquake Aftermath

--Videos Intended to Help Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding Efforts

Immersive Media, a company that has developed a patented technology, dubbed imLIVE, that enables viewer-controlled, 360-degree, live, full-motion, interactive video experiences (note: the experience of watching video powered by the technology is akin to watching a video version of Google Street View), announced last week that it is making available 360-degree, interactive, online video footage of the earthquake devastation in Haiti free of charge to relief agencies, government departments and news-gathering organizations involved in the ongoing recover efforts.

The interactive videos are located at immersivemedia.com, and can also be freely embedded into other Web sites, Immersive Video says, and shared via Facebook, Twitter and other social media. The company says that it is continuing to shoot video of the earthquake aftermath and that it will make it available on an ongoing basis in the coming weeks. While the company claims that its cameras capture 100 million pixels at 30 frames per second for high-resolution detail, it says that it has decided to optimize the videos for lower-bandwidth Web viewing, due to the fact that many relief agencies are expected to have access only to lower-speed connections. However, it says that high-resolution versions of the videos are available upon request via its Web site.

The videos--an example of which is embedded above--are billed by Immersive Media as "plac[ing] viewers in the middle of an environment, giving them full control over what they see in a scene. With a simple click and drag of a computer mouse," the company says, "online viewers can look sideways, up, down or all around in 360 degrees, while also pausing or zooming in and out." According to the company, each frame is geo-coded, in order to enable planners and operations teams to pinpoint the exact locations where relief, recovery and rebuilding are needed, and the footage can be integrated with ESRI and other standard mapping applications.

The videos are being produced via a partnership between Immersive Media and IMTS, an Immersive Media authorized agent that specializes in working with military and special operations teams: according to Immersive Media, IMTS has significant experience in gathering surveillance video data for military, law enforcement and security applications, and has captured 360-degree video data in Iraq and elsewhere for advanced monitoring protection and response. In addition, the company says, the DRC Group and Integrated Electronic Technologies have been handling logistics, transportation, operations and government relations for the project. "All of us at Immersive Media are terribly saddened by the events of January 12th and want to do whatever we can to help improve the immediate and long-term situation in Haiti," Immersive Media president and CEO, Myles McGovern, said in a prepared statement. "As previous natural disasters have shown, detailed imagery and assessments of the affected areas are critical to relief efforts and future planning. Since many of the first responders and government organizations are not on-site in Haiti, these 360-degree videos give them an unprecedented view of the devastation from the ground level."



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