With virtual reality in its first year of real availability, Time Inc. is launching an initiative that will majorly expand its VR journalism program. The newly announced Life VR will host projects created for the company’s various outlets, which include Sports Illustrated, People, and InStyle. While Life VR will feature the kind of 360-degree video pieces that have become increasingly popular online, the company hopes to branch out into all kinds of VR, including more interactive experiences. An app is coming to Android and iOS, where users will be able to watch on either a flat screen or a Google Cardboard headset, and its contents will be released on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Gear VR.

Life VR represents a new iteration of the once-iconic Life magazine, which currently exists as a photo-focused section of the main Time site. Managing editor Mia Tramz describes it as following the dream set forward by Time Inc. co-founder Henry Luce in an early prospectus for Life, which he aimed to turn into “the biggest picture show on Earth” when it launched in 1936. “When you read that, it sounds like a VR pitch. It’s really beautiful,” says Tramz.

For now, Life VR is launching with three experiences, with new pieces coming out monthly (or potentially more often). The first is adapted from Defying the Nazis, a Ken Burns documentary about Martha and Waitstill Sharp, who smuggled hundreds of people out of Nazi Germany during World War II. Defying the Nazis VR dramatizes a voyage across the Atlantic in virtual reality, layered with voiceover and archival images from the documentary. The second, Fast Ride, lets viewers take a ride in the Mazda 787 racecar. The third, Lumen, is a short meditation experience that puts viewers inside a psychedelic garden, where they can control the growth of plants and the color of the sky. All are produced in collaboration with outside partners, including the studios Wevr, VR Playhouse, and Framestore. Read More