David Attenborough to enter virtual reality with Oculus Rift nature show

Sky 3D two-parter Conquest of the Skies will be compatible with 360-degree headsets

A new documentary from David Attenborough will use virtual-reality headsets to give a bird’s eye view of exotic wildlife.


Sections of documentary Conquest of the Skies, produced by Sky 3D and Atlantic Productions, were filmed using special flying cameras. Combined with the Oculus Rift headset, audiences will be able to look all around them while flying through the skies of Borneo.

Speaking to Realscreen, John Morris from Atlantic explained: “We’re now filming for the Oculus Rift… so when we filmed our recent flight in Borneo, we filmed with an eight-camera rig, so you got the full 360° experience.”

The upcoming Oculus Rift headset uses 3D stereoscopic imagery and head-tracking to make you believe you are really standing in/flying through a scene. Yes, you have to strap the thing to your face, but video game fans have been getting giddy about its potential since it was first announced back in 2012.

Facebook made headlines last month when it bought Oculus, which is still at the prototype stage, for a reported $2 billion. A lighter, cheaper, better consumer version is expected to be released in either late 2014 or early 2015.

Conquest of the Skies will be narrated by veteran naturalist David Attenborough, whose documentaries have featured such technical breakthroughs as night vision, remote-control cameras and speaking very, very softly into a microphone. The two-part documentary will be shown later this year.