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Google's latest VR Spotlight story watches you

Jon Fingas

Google's latest interactive Spotlight Story has an unusual twist... namely, it's watching you. The Piggy VR experience uses six-degrees-of-freedom movement tracking to have a pig respond to your gaze as its namesake character is tempted by a cake. Stare at Piggy and the porcine protagonist will look back with annoyance, guilt or surprise while trying to distract you. Look away, however, and Piggy may give in to cravings. Yes, it's easy to make jokes about a Google story that tracks what you're doing, but it's a clever way of involving the audience without disrupting the narrative.

Piggy is available both through Google's Spotlight Stories mobile apps as well as Daydream, Steam and HTC's Viveport. You probably won't see it come to YouTube, since the very premise depends on the character responding to the viewer.

This isn't the only tale in the works. Google is promising a "sneak peek" on June 14th for Age of Sail (below), a more realistic story about a lonely sailor (played by Ian McShane) who rescues a teen (Cathy Ang) and finds "redemption and hope in his darkest hours." The company hasn't provided much more detail about how you'll experience this project, but it noted that this was its "most visually complex and longest" story to date. In other words, it's becoming more ambitious as it experiments with more storytelling formats.

(Google)

Google