There are those who believe that bikini-clad babes and virtual reality don’t mix well. I mean, theoretically such a person could exist. It’s a big world. However, I think it’s safe to assume that the vast majority of the rest of us see the rationale behind Sports Illustrated’s decision to bring the latest edition of their popular Swimsuit Issue to VR headsets.
The creative director of Sports Illustrated Chris Hercik has revealed that this issue’s photoshoot, which took place in November of last year, was done in collaboration with Wevr, a VR company. Photographers captured a slew of virtual reality content with models such as Hannah Davis, Irina Shayk, and Nina Adgal for release on the magazine’s new Swimsuit app, which has recently been made available in the Google Play Store.
“For the first time ever,” says Hercik, “we’re going to be able to answer the question that I always get and a lot of the people on staff always get, which is: ‘What is it like to be on set for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot?'”
Upon release, the app offers five free virtual reality experiences that put you on the beach or in the pool with your favorite models. The rest are locked behind a paywall, and you have the option to pay $1.99 to unlock each ~2 minute video or $4.99 to get the premium upgrade, which grants you unlimited access to all VR content as well as exclusive photos and videos. Hercik says that, so far, the team has produced around 40 different bikini-strapped VR experiences, but the company is excited to continue to roll out more with each release of a swimsuit edition.
The app is compatible with smartphone-assisted VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. Click the button below to give it a whirl. In the meantime, what do you think this says about the continuing development of commercial virtual reality in 2016? With mainstream media like Sports Illustrated jumping on the bandwagon, we think it’s safe to assume that the VR takeover is fully underway.