News: The Weather Channel Uses Broadcast AR to Warn Residents in the Path of Hurricane Florence

The Weather Channel Uses Broadcast AR to Warn Residents in the Path of Hurricane Florence

If you've gone anywhere near a television in the US in the last 48 hours, you've probably seen some of the reports of Hurricane Florence and its devastating wind and rain making its way toward the Carolina coast.

But if you're not a weather nerd, with your eyes locked on The Weather Channel, you probably haven't seen some of the stunning broadcast augmented reality effects being used to illustrate the dangers of the weather event.

On Wednesday, The Weather Channel showed off some of its immersive production magic by engulfing its hosts in rising storm surge waters in an effort to show exactly why Hurricane Florence is so dangerous and certain residents should evacuate.

Image by The Weather Channel/YouTube

During one sequence, we see a news anchor for the network describe how the hurricane flooding could reach 3 feet, then 6 feet, and even up to 9 feet high, in each case showing the waters rising above his head.

But it's not just a flat graphic, the waters appear to surround him as he's protected within an invisible cone as the hurricane whips trees violently behind him and cars are carried away on flood waters.

Image by The Weather Channel/YouTube

And this new broadcast technique doesn't just offer a realistic look at what kind of danger weather events like Hurricane Florence pose, it's also a great way to continue the tradition of putting weather reporters right in the middle of the action, but without the dangers of actually being harmed by the weather's real world effects.

Based on a quick look at social media and the comments on YouTube, the new broadcast AR approach is a hit with viewers.

The network announced plans to dive deeper into these kinds of presentations, assisted by The Future Group, earlier this year just after comedian turned Hollywood producer Byron Allen acquired The Weather Channel for $300 million.

If this is a sample of what we have to look forward to on the network, ratings for The Weather Channel may be about to surpass even its most recent record breaking numbers as weather news morphs into a new form of immersive entertainment.

Cover image via The Weather Channel/YouTube

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