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Augmented reality: Weather reports that send shivers down your spine

Credits: Youtube screenshot / The Weather Channel

In Britain, weather reports are relatively standard.  Although we are renowned for the rain we are not often hit by extreme weather. However with the help of augmented reality, weather updates on the American TV channel, The Weather Channel are a lot more turbulent! 

Do they want to frighten their viewers or is it simply to capture their interest? The Weather Channel broadcast a weather report looking at the risks associated with Hurricane Florence that hit the eastern American states in September 2018.  During the programme the weather reporter is in the midst of a flooded street that is now running like a river surrounded by floating cars.  The whole scene is livened up by realistic sounds of rain and wind.

Augmented reality is evidently being used to help capture the viewers attention.  This technique was developed by The Future Group, a company specialising in Augmented Reality material.  The flood simulation is therefore created by superposing the sounds, images and 3D animations together.  Unreal Engine technology is also used to create this effect, a technology which is a largely known in the world of video games.

Does The Weather Channel tend to over-exaggerate? During Hurricane Florence, a live link-up broadcast by the channel was slated on social media as ridiculous. In fact the sequence turned viral as it showed the journalist struggling to stay up while passers-by walked casually behind him.

However the flood simulation video concerning hurricane Florence can be viewed below along with a previous weather report using Augmented Realty.   Perhaps a little more interesting, the second video looks at the effects of tornadoes by analysing lots of information including figures and characteristic types.  The  simulation shows the devastating effects of tornadoes on towns and cities showing electric poles littering the ground and bashed up cars. The scene is a real battlefield!

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