Dreaming of a VR Christmas: DIGILITY teams up with Fader to launch an immersive advent calendar

In the scope of the DNI project “Fader”, partners Vragments, DW Innovation, Euronews, DIGILITY and numerous members of the international VR community, launch their first VR/360 advent calendar today. The experimental Xmas experience will eventually feature 24 immersive stories/scenes and can be viewed on a wide range of devices.

If you're based in a country substantially influenced by Christian (especially Lutheran) culture, chances are you'll come across an advent calendar soon, for example at your daughter's kindergarten, your neighbor's kitchen or your colleague's office. This is the Season again, and a lot of people are really keen on the accessory, even if it it's run-of-the-mill. But before we go any further:

If you're based in a country where Christian culture is only a footnote, chances are you don't even know what an advent calendar is. So: It's a special calendar that is often rectangular, made of printed cardboard (we're not talking about the VR device here) and decorated with 24 windows that will help you to enjoy the countdown to Xmas. Well, you actually count up from December 1st to December 24th. Behind every window, the manufacturer of the calendar has hidden an Xmas-related item. In this day and age, it's often a piece of chocolate, a Star Wars toy, or a can of beer – to minimize the risk of the calendar owner forgetting to open a window every morning for 24 days.

Now that everybody is on the same page, we'd like to present our very own immersive advent calendar. It's web-based, and it holds something far better than candies or toys or drinks brewed from cereal grains: We've decided to give you short (VR) stories/360 scenes created by an international community of journalists, media, and tech people.

On December 1st, we start with an intro scene (a forest, classic imagery) and the first window. On December 2nd, we'll add another one. And so on. Come Xmas, we'll hopefully have a collection of 24 special VR moments curated in an easy-to-share container.

The container is a Fader story that will run on:

  • the Oculus Rift (use Firefox with WebVR)
  • most modern Android smartphones (use your Chrome standard browser/WebVR, look through the magic window or put the phone into a cardboard-compatible device to go fully immersive)
  • most modern desktop computers (use Chrome/WebVR; navigate with our your trackpad or mouse)

You can easily share the advent calendar Fader story via Facebook, Twitter or email: It's a *unique link/URL* that won't change but will have every new day updated content. We have also embedded the story here:

https://app.getfader.com/projects/c3d3e44f-147f-4107-b680-f8ae108e8bd7/publish

A huge thank you go to the teams of DW Innovation and Vragments for coming up with the idea of the VR calendar, setting up the technical details and bringing together many fantastic people! DIGILITY is contributing to the project by offering support and social love. We have reached out to the international VR community and will help with dissemination. More cordial thanks go out to EuroNews who have also contributed to the dream of a VR Xmas, and who make up the Fader consortium together with Vragments and DW Innovation.

Last, but not least we should point out that Fader/VRappr is a project funded by the Google DNI.

Well, we hope you will enjoy our first try and the stories we’ve added to this year’s calendar!

Let us know if you like the idea via Facebook or Twitter: #VRcalendar @DIGILITY_CGN !