Welcome to the Getty Images Virtual Reality Group.
Stock photo superstars Getty Images announced yesterday the creation of their brand new virtual reality initiative, the Getty Images Virtual Reality Group. The business is an attempt by the Seattle-based agency to further its involvement in the 360-degree and VR industries by providing an impressive collection of over 12,000 high-res 360-degree premium images collected over the past four years.
Dawn Airey, Chief Executive Officer of Getty Images, spoke of the budding industry: “The technology is still in its infancy – as are the business models addressing how to use it – but we can expect to see VR become a leading tool for visual storytelling. It is anticipated that over 14 million consoles will sell this year alone, and we are only on the cusp of what will be a tectonic plate shift in VR.”
“With the launch of the Getty Images Virtual Reality Group, we are embedding VR content technologies into the core of our business and ensuring that, as use of VR continues to grow, its users are further enhancing their experience with access to the world’s best imagery.”
The collection already boasts an impressive number of 360-degree images, beginning four years ago with their partnership with the International Olympic Committee to become the Official Photographic Agency at the 2012 London Olympics. There they began their initiative capturing the events and spectacles in glorious 360 degrees.
All the sights and sounds of Rio, minus the smell.
Despite the large collection, Getty has no intentions of slowing down. The company has expressed their stern commitment to continually increasing their library. Which is why this year they’ll be sending every one of their photographers heading to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio with state-of-the-art 360-degree cameras.
Having partnered with Oculus Rift back in June, the organization has a responsibility to continually provide high-quality images from all around the world. Last month they made another partnership with Google to provide 360 images for the upcoming Google Expedition program.
Getty Images already has a reputation for providing only the highest quality content, so to see it take such a serious step towards the advancement of virtual reality gives me a real warm, fuzzy feeling inside.