With Hurricane Dorian approaching Florida, the Weather Channel Friday will air a segment on preparing for the storm that’s sponsored by State Farm and uses immersive mixed reality technology.
Weather Channel has been using immersive mixed reality technology to show viewers how severe weather events develop and the impact they can have when they reach their most powerful stage. This is the first time a sponsor has been integrated into a segment using the technology.
The segment features Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist Stephanie Abrams, who counts down the course of a hurricane from 48 hours out until landfall. As she stands in front of a typical-looking home, the winds around her start to swirl, increase in intensity and eventually become strong enough to knock over trees.
“The clock is ticking. It’s time to take action,” she says at the beginning of the segment.
Among the preparation steps Abrams recommends is protecting insurance papers during storms, and in the segment a bright red waterproof State Farm bag is used to show how those documents can be kept safe.
The segment will have its debut during the Weather Channel's morning show, AMHQ. After that, the clip will be released on the network's social channels.
The immersive mixed reality technology used by the Weather Channel uses advanced graphic renderings and visual effects from The Future Group’s Frontier powered by Unreal Engine. It lets the channel take viewers inside a storm or environment.
In previous IMR segments, Weather Channel has shown a tornado destroying the channel’s headquarters, storm surges flooding its studios, a wild firm and an ice storm.
By 2020, The Weather Channel said it plans to use IMR technology in 80% of its programming.