MCLEAN, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--USA TODAY, in partnership with FLORIDA TODAY, released USA TODAY NETWORK’s first augmented reality (AR) application, 321 Launch, to bring interactive space coverage to its audience of more than 110 million.
A collaboration between USA TODAY NETWORK’s national brand, USA TODAY and one of its local news brands, FLORIDA TODAY, 321 Launch brings viewers a best-in-class AR hologram rocket launch experience from liftoff to landing. With live insights from FLORIDA TODAY’s space experts, the experience guides users through an AR rocket launch from any flat surface, with an animated hologram showing the rocket in real-time. The app incorporates telemetry data, generating a predictive flight-path and allowing users to follow the speed, acceleration and altitude of an active rocket launch live in augmented reality.
“With over 30 rocket launches scheduled for 2018, we’re leveraging the excitement around space as an opportunity to bring this content to our audience in a new and engaging way,” said Ray Soto, Director of Emerging Technology, USA TODAY NETWORK. “We partnered with FLORIDA TODAY because of their industry-leading, compelling and comprehensive coverage of the space industry, and we’re excited to continue to add new content and features to the app for our users.”
Features within the app include:
- Live video coverage of upcoming rocket launches, beginning with SpaceX Falcon 9; United Launch Alliance Atlas V to be added soon
- View a launch’s predicted flight path by simply pointing your phone at the sky
- A tabletop AR hologram of the rocket to view real-time events, from liftoff to landing
- Real-time commentary from space experts to guide you through the launch and provide insights on the mission
- Ability to switch between AR and the live video broadcast
“We have always had a leading voice in the space industry thanks to our deep knowledge of the field and having an office at Kennedy Space Center. And, new players have created even more attention for the Space Coast,” said Emre Kelly, Space Reporter, FLORIDA TODAY. “As we look forward to the upcoming year of rocket launches, we wanted to bring our stories to life in new ways for our audience.”
The app will be available for iPhone models 6S and above with iOS11, and in the Google Play store for Android 7.0 or later. For more information, please visit usatoday.com/321launch.
USA TODAY NETWORK has been a leader in bringing journalism to life through emerging technology. In September, the organization released a multimedia piece, “The Wall”, utilizing virtual reality and LiDAR mapping technology. Previously, USA TODAY NETWORK released an interactive experience of life on the USS Eisenhower.
About USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co, Inc. (NYSE: GCI), is the largest local-to-national media organization in the country, powered by our award-winning newsrooms and marketing solutions business. With deep roots in local communities spanning the U.S. with more than 100 brands, plus USA TODAY, we engage more than 110 million people every month through a diverse portfolio of multi-platform content offerings and experiences. For more information, visit www.gannett.com.