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Arizona State Students Design VR Apps for 360-Degree Storytelling

Two apps created by students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at ASU are receiving recognition for their innovative, virtual reality storytelling.

A lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University is receiving an award for two student-designed virtual reality apps that offer a new entry point into a highly reported subject — the border between the United States and Mexico.

The Cronkite School’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab received the Excellence in Innovative Technology Award from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) for their work. Launched in 2006, the lab provides Cronkite students a space to design and create cutting-edge media, such as mobile apps, news games and interactive websites, according to ASU’s website. Cronkite students collaborate with computer engineering, design and business students in the lab to create digital media products.

NABEF’s award acknowledges Cronkite News VR and Cronkite Border VR, two VR apps that apply a 360-degree spin on documentary storytelling. To develop the apps, 16 students traveled to the border to record its current state. The students shot 360-degree video and interviewed both residents and border patrol agents to tell the story in a new medium.

“We are so disconnected when we talk about the border,” said Retha Hill, director of the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab. “Many people have never been there. We wanted to help people better understand and experience the border with these apps.”

The students behind the VR apps will formally accept the award this November during the NAB Show NY Conference in New York.  

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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