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Financial Times announces VR partnership with Google

Today, the Financial Times is launching its first major virtual reality project in collaboration with Google: Hidden Cities: Rio.

Combining Google technology with the unparalleled global knowledge of FT Weekend journalists, the Hidden Cities series helps readers discover fresh perspectives on some of the world’s cultural and political capitals, following recent successful launches in London and Brussels.

Hidden Cities: Rio, timed to coincide with the start of the 2016 summer Olympics, is the first in the series to include a virtual reality element. Our immersive documentary “The City Within”, with reporting and voiceover by Brazil correspondent Samantha Pearson (@samanthapearson), explores the social dynamics and physical landscape of Rio’s favelas, giving viewers a sense of the Rio behind the games.

Like all video content from the FT, Hidden Cities: Rio is free to experience, viewable across devices or with a specially-designed Google Cardboard, which will be distributed to readers in London and the Home Counties with their newspaper on Saturday.

Readers will also be able to discover Hidden Cities in a print supplement published globally in FT Weekend Magazine on August 6.

Natalie Whittle, FT Weekend Magazine associate editor and editorial lead on Hidden Cities, said: “This project was a very rich and exciting one to work on – we not only had a chance to look closely at Rio de Janeiro through the eyes of our correspondents and photojournalists on the ground, but also to explore how 360 video can be used to extend the insightful access that we always strive to give our readers.”

Sian Cox-Brooker, News and Publishers Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Google, added: “Hidden Cities Rio is a good example of how technology and journalism can work together. This project builds on our mutual strengths–Google’s technology, combined with FT’s editorial depth–to help people discover Rio’s hidden gems.”

The Hidden Cities concept was created by adam&eveDDB, as a unique collaboration between two of their existing clients.

Visit previous iterations of the Hidden Cities series here.

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For more information please contact:

Rachel Taube
+1 917-551-5092

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation in excess of 800,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than half of total traffic.

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