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Veterans United Foundation and Jaunt Inc. Release Honor 360 Virtual Reality Experiences Bringing National Memorials to Those Aging and Disabled Military Veterans Who Cannot Make the Trip

November 11, 2015
This Veterans Day, Veterans United and Jaunt Bring Immersive, Virtual Honor Flights to US Military Veterans Everywhere

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Jaunt Inc., the leading purveyor of fully-immersive cinematic virtual reality experiences, and Veterans United Foundation, the charitable arm of Veterans United Home Loans, in conjunction with Central Missouri Honor Flight, Story Up Studios and Ghost Machine, today announced the release of a special Veterans Day Honor Everywhere 360 virtual reality (VR) experience. This Veterans Day tribute provides aging and disabled US military Veterans, many of which are no longer able to travel, a virtual “Honor Flight” to Washington, DC where they can experience the memorials constructed in their honor.

Cinematic virtual reality represents a totally new medium that instantly gives the viewer a sense of being transported to an entirely different location, as if they were actually there. Many ailing and disabled Veterans are physically unable to visit memorials made in their honor. But through the new medium of cinematic virtual reality these Veterans were given the experience of being present, alongside their comrades who actually visited the Memorials in Washington DC earlier in the year. Through the use of a Google Cardboard headset, even veterans that are unfamiliar with VR technology are able to easily access this unique experience from wherever they are in the world. With over 500 veterans passing away each day, bringing this experience to veterans across the nation was the least that Jaunt and Veterans Foundation could do for these heroes.

“This groundbreaking VR experience delivers a life-like experience that we believe veterans will enjoy,” said Jens Christensen, CEO and co-founder of Jaunt. “Thanks to the transportive nature of VR technology, the Honor Everywhere 360 experience affords American war heroes the virtual experience of visiting the Washington DC memorials. Jaunt is honored to have played a part in the production and distribution of Honor Everywhere 360 and we are excited that Veterans across the nation will be able to participate in this one-of-a-kind experience.”

Captured with proprietary Jaunt cameras and advanced 3D sound-field microphones this past Memorial Day, the VR experience places viewers right alongside their fellow Veterans as they visit US War Memorials in Washington DC. This virtual “Honor Flight” was made possible through donations by Veterans United Foundation, Jaunt, Google, Central Missouri Honor Flight, Ghost Machine and Story Up Studios. For this project, Jaunt handled all of the Virtual Reality production, including encoding and distributing the app. Veterans United Foundation handled the scripts and provided all behind the scenes and archive video. Central MO Honor Flight facilitated the experience at nursing homes with technology guardians. Ghost Machine VR consulted on the game development needs and website design while Story Up Studios provided the 2D video reaction stories and is leading the distribution effort in nursing homes.

“Watching a Veteran experience an Honor Flight is something everyone should witness,” said Greg Steinhoff, director of Veterans United Foundation. “The memories in their eyes, the flood of emotions, it’s a special time to get to share. And, we knew not every Veteran was getting their chance to travel to their memorial. That’s why we teamed up with the pioneers in VR so we could get every Veteran their earned right to be a part of their memorial. Honor Everywhere 360 is the future, each Veteran will turn his or her head left or right, up or down and really be at his or her memorial.”

“I felt like I was there,” said Dale Garrett, WWII Veteran. “It’s personal and close up and you feel like you could be walking with those’s moving.”

As evidenced by ABC News and Associated Press recent attention on cinematic Virtual Reality, and last week’s distribution of 1 million Google cardboard viewers to New York Times subscribers, adoption of VR is rapidly growing into a viable mainstream media platform. Honor Everywhere 360 is the perfect application to showcase the capabilities of this cutting edge technology. This special Veterans Day Honor Everywhere 360 VR experience is available free to anyone with a smartphone and a Google Cardboard viewing device. To view the experience on iOS, download the JauntVR app on iTunes, and for Android Devices download the Honor Everywhere app in the GooglePlay Store. Monoscopic versions can also be found on the Jaunt VR YouTube channel or on Facebook 360. For more information, visit Honor Everywhere

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