Go inside Heston Blumenthal's restaurant with 360 VR

Always wanted to hang out with Heston in his restaurant? Or take centre stage on a LGBT Mardi Gras float? Your time has come, you lucky thing.

On Friday, amid the dirty swamp of April Fools’ Day jokes, came a new offering from Australian broadcaster SBS. The channel has launched a 360º VR video app that brings high-quality content to your face. 

SBS released the app with two pieces of content: a tour of Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck restaurant in Melbourne with the man himself and heading down Oxford Street into a rainbow parade.  

The channel advises people who want to find the future to download the app, press play and stick it in your newly acquired Google Cardboard or other cheap, homemade virtual reality headset. Nope, not the Oculus Rift, but maybe one day it will be. 

After confirming it wasn’t some sick technology prank, Mashable Austalia grabbed our Google Cardboard to test out the small range of content currently available. In perhaps unfortunate news, the content looks beautiful on the phone when it isn’t in VR mode but loses quality when popped in a piece of Cardboard for viewing. 

On the phone viewing the 360º video, the quality is top notch and you really do feel like you are the life and the party of the gay pride party in Sydney. But once you split the screen — or enter “VR Mode” — the clarity is lost behind the lens and it is a blurry array of bright colours and nude limbs. 

There’s still a bit to be done in this space, and SBS is one of the more adventurous Australian channels pushing in to give it a go. In a statement, the company said it has even started training its camera operators and editors to produce VR content.

Later in the year, the channel will release a documentary series Untold Australia, about diverse Australian lifestyles, using this technology. It could be a treat if you can source a viewer with a higher quality lens, rather than your standard Cardboard. 

So watch this space. 

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