5 Gyres Partnering with Forward Reality on Groundbreaking VR Project

“The Pacific Garbage Patch, A Seagull’s Perspective” will educate millions on the impact of plastic pollution.

Carlsbad, CA, USA — 5 Gyres is partnering with Forward Reality, as an advisor on a Virtual Reality (VR) project to educate people about the serious issue of plastic pollution in our oceans.

The “Pacific Garbage Patch – A Seagull’s Perspective” is a VR experience, that focuses on the Pacific Garbage Patch and the effects of plastics on marine and bird life. It is a compelling interactive experience that brings this critical issue to people’s attention.

Users will view the Pacific Garbage Patch, its origins and affected regions, from the perspective of a Seagull, with voice over narration that explains the content and issues. By viewing multiple locations (the gyre, Midway Island, plastic factories, fish market) players can understand the origin of this plastic garbage, the impact it has on the world around us and the steps they can take to help solve the problem.

Sherri Cuono, CEO of Forward Reality stated “We’re pleased to have the participation of the 5 Gyres Institute on this important project, their expertise on this issue is invaluable”. She added, “Forward Reality will be launching this experience in museums worldwide as well as making it available to the public on multiple VR platforms.”

“Solving the problem of plastic pollution demands innovation,” said Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, 5 Gyres Executive Director. “We’re honored to share our experience through this exciting new platform to drive awareness and action on this critical issue.”

The “Pacific Garbage Patch – A Seagull’s Perspective” will be released later this year.

ABOUT 5 GYRES
The nonprofit 5 Gyres Institute has been fighting plastic ocean pollution since 2009. Beginning in 2010, 5 Gyres began a series of scientific firsts by researching plastic in all five subtropical gyres, as well as the Great Lakes and Antarctica. In 2014, the organization convened eight scientists around the world to publish the first global estimate of plastic pollution in our ocean: 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide. 5 Gyres’ paper on plastic microbead pollution in the Great Lakes inspired a two-year collaborative campaign that culminated in a federal ban on microbeads, which President Obama signed into law in 2015. In August, 5 Gyres embarked on its 17th expedition-this time to research microplastics and nanoplastics in the Arctic Circle. More information is at http://www.5gyres.org.

ABOUT FORWARD REALITY
Forward Reality is creating amazing interactive VR experiences that educate, entertain and inspire. Our focus is on VR with a Purpose. Founded by industry pioneers, we are an independent studio dedicated to using VR technology to change the world for the better. Through our combined decades of research and achievements in video game production and 360 video, Forward Reality is creating the next generation of media-rich VR entertainment. More information about Forward Reality can be found at http://www.forwardreality.com.

Contact:
Ginger Goss Mukherjee – ginger@5gyres.org
William Volk – business@forwardreality.com

ThingLink Launches 360/VR Editor to Embed Multimedia Content in Panoramic Virtual Reality Images

New Virtual Reality Editing Suite Is Being Packaged for Professional Users With Special Offer for Educators Following Introduction of ThingLink VR Lessons.

ThingLink Logo

Dublin, Ireland — Interactive media platform ThingLink (http://www.thinglink.com) today announced the release of its new 360/VR multimedia editor that allows users to annotate 360 images and 360 videos and view them in virtual reality. The company is introducing its new 360 image editor during the Mobile Journalism Conference in Dublin.

ThingLink’s 360/VR image editor allows users to annotate 360 panoramic images with text, image, and audio annotations as well as web embeds for mobile view. Audio and video annotations play as the viewer aligns a pointer with an icon that is displayed in the picture. The tool is ideal for online publishers, journalists, marketers, educators, and others who want to add rich content to virtual tours, news, sporting events, retail experiences, educational programs, or any application where annotated content can enhance the virtual reality experience.

Users also have capability to create a multi-spacial navigation experience by connecting several 360 images or videos together. This allows them to create truly immersive experiences, making viewers feel as though they are moving from one space to another. The new 360/VR editor also includes a new automatic icon creation feature that make the story creation even faster.

“Virtual reality is rapidly gaining popularity in online publishing, education, and marketing, and ThingLink’s 360/VR Editor is a powerful, cost-effective way to enhance any mobile VR experience,” said Ulla Engestrom, founder and CEO of ThingLink. “Our editor makes it possible to add in-depth information to a virtual documentary, enhance a tour of a property for sale, explain strategies in virtual games, expand VR lessons for use in the classroom, and do so much more. And built-in engagement tracking and statistics can help content creators refine their VR experience and provide metrics for future VR applications.”

The new VR/360 editor will be included as part of ThingLink’s new Premium business package ($1,500/year), which provides online publishers with a multimedia tagging platform that supports customized text, audio, video, and more, complete with engagement analytics. Advertisers and marketing creative teams who would like to integrate customized call-to-action options such as eCommerce experiences in the mobile VR view also can work directly with ThingLink’s New York-based VIP services team.

Schools have a special version of the new 360/VR editor that is being bundled with the recently launched ThingLink VR Lessons, which is a collection of high-quality, interactive, 360° image and video journeys on a variety of topics including science, language, and arts. The 360/VR is included with the Premium school subscription package, starting at $500 per year per school.

To get a promo code for reviewing VR editor or VR Lessons, please contact: press@thinglink.com

About ThingLink
ThingLink, founded in 2010, is an interactive media platform that empowers online publishers to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos, videos and virtual reality. With over 3 million content creators, ThingLink has become the most popular cross-platform solution and creative community for interactive images and videos. For more information, visit http://www.thinglink.com.

Media Contact:
Tom Woolf
Woolf Media & Marketing
415-259-5638
tomw@woolfmedia.com

ThingLink Launches Virtual Reality Lessons App for Education

Interactive media platform ThingLink has launched its first virtual reality content app called VR Lessons. The app is designed for elementary school students, their teachers and parents.

ThingLink Logo

Palo Alto, CA, USA — Interactive media platform ThingLink (http://www.thinglink.com) has launched its first virtual reality content app called VR Lessons. The app is designed for elementary school students, their teachers and parents.

VR Lessons by ThingLink is a collection of high quality, interactive, 360° image and video journeys on a variety of topics including science, language, and arts. The first stories take students to visit different kinds of ecosystems from the French Alps to a jungle in the archipelago of northern Australia. As students turn their heads to look around, they can spot details and unlock additional information of each habitat in a narrated virtual reality environment.

“Virtual reality can take students to places they could only dream of visiting, but it is also an open canvas for students to imagine and build new worlds and experiences. We are making it possible for schools to use virtual reality as an engaging learning platform,” says ThingLink’s founder and CEO Ulla Engestrom.

VR Lessons by ThingLink utilizes three key feature additions to ThingLink’s core product, the image editor: audio annotations, background audio for 360° images, and the ability to connect several 360° images or videos into a one immersive story.

“Audio annotations work wonderfully in a mobile VR environment, adding depth to the overall experience of the space. For example, in VR Lessons we added the sound of the wind in the background of an image from the Norwegian tundra, and an owl howling in the image of a cold winter forest in Finland. In annotations we are using both human and computer voiced files, and students can vote which voice they like the best,” says Engestrom.

The first VR lessons have been created by ThingLink’s own content team using the company’s new VR editor. Later, educators from around the world will be able to publish their virtual reality lessons in ThingLink’s VR Lessons app.

About ThingLink
ThingLink, founded in 2010, is an interactive media platform that empowers online publishers to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos, videos and virtual reality. With over 3 million content creators, ThingLink has become the most popular cross-platform solution and creative community for interactive images and videos. For more information, visit http://www.thinglink.com.

Media Contact:
Tom Woolf
Woolf Media & Marketing
415-259-5638
tomw@woolfmedia.com