Experiencing the future of journalism

Journalists will soon be able to transport their audience somewhere else through augmented and mixed reality, a Sydney conference has heard.

ABC R&D experience designer Amy Nelson yesterday told the Walkley Foundation’s Storyology festival journalists are “moving from the information age to the experience age”.

The R&D team, which is charged with envisioning future media experiences for the national broadcaster, says the next step is designing “beyond the screen” where people won’t be limited to touching and tapping.

“If you’re a journalist you’ll be able to transport someone somewhere else and you can’t really do that with traditional screen media,” Ms Nelson said.

“With augmented and mixed reality, it’s about bringing technology into the world around you.”

Within five to ten years the media will move far beyond the technology of apps like Pokemon Go, allowing the audience to use their voice, eyes and gestures to control their new reality, which may include smells, sounds and temperature changes, according to Ms Nelson.

The ABC has been tracking new technology and media advances like Tilt Brush by Google, Birdly by Somniacs, Fragments for Microsoft HoloLens and 360-degree reporting by outlets including the New York times. The Guardian, BBC and Al Jazeera.

“Even though so much has happened with these platforms in the last two years we’re barely at the beginning of it all,” Ms Nelson said.

Audiences can look forward to interacting with holographs in their own homes with characters “that feel as real as you – and you won’t have to wear a clunky headset to do it.”

Stories will also be personalised with data collection enabling designers to know your likes and dislikes, and even the layout of your house.

“It could be hyper personal and hyper contextual,” Ms Nelson said.

The future of journalism is just one of the topics being discussed at Storyology, Australia’s premier journalism and storytelling festival, which runs in Sydney from from August 10 to 13. A broad range of media is attending and speaking at the conference, including Peter Greste (freelance reporter), Quentin Dempster (The New Daily), Kate McClymont (Fairfax Media), Sandra Sully (TEN Eyewitness News), Malcolm Farr (news.com.au) and Simon Crerar (Buzzfeed). – Fiona West

Picture of Microsoft HoloLens:Fragments from YouTube.