Everyone’s talking about the Weather (Channel)’s hardcore mixed reality reporting

Under new ownership, the Weather Channel’s bet on immersive mixed reality seems to be paying off.

November 19, 2018

Well, this wasn’t in the forecast: The Weather Channel matters again thanks to pulse-quickening, immersive mixed reality reporting that covers everything from disasters to college football.

Under new ownership since March, the Channel has leveraged its growing roster of tech partners to give weather-worriers the sensationalist coverage they deserve, and just this week, the Weather Channel showed off its new sports reporting.

The weather’s back, baby

After buying the Weather Channel off private equity’s clearance rack 8 months ago, media mogul (and comedian) Byron Allen set out to revitalize the Channel by turning weather into an edge-of-your-seat entertainment experience instead of a chore.

By September, the Weather Channel’s immersive live coverage of Hurricane Florence’s storm surge was so surprisingly exciting that it went viral. So, how AR(e) they doing it?

Making weather cool again

The Weather Channel uses technology from partners such as the The Future Group (which makes the ‘Unreal Engine’ that powers many video games) to create “immersive mixed reality” experiences to engage viewers.

The Channel has also produced simulations of tornadoes and wildfires that look more like high-budget disaster flicks than weather broadcasts (watch them without sweating, we dare you).

Now the Weather Channel is targeting another type of weather with high entertainment value: sports weather.

In the forecast: Torrential viewership 

Football dominates American TV viewership, so the Weather Channel’s new mixed reality forecasts will help viewers experience the elements their favorite athletes have to endure when playing in different conditions.

But the Weather Channel won’t stop until it’s the most gripping entertainment on the tube: The company plans to use mixed reality for 80% of its reporting by 2020. In early 2019, the company plans to roll out another new type of tech — mixed reality weather time lapses.

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