TARGO leverages new immersive technologies to enhance journalism

TARGO collaborates with media companies to develop high-quality immersive experiences. TARGO was part of the 16 semi-finalists of our Startups for News competition. We asked the team a few questions about their startup.

What did you do prior to launching Targo?

We both have very different backgrounds. Chloé was a journalist for Mashable France while, I, Victor, worked for NUMA, a tech startup accelerator. Our experiences were very complementary: I was into tech, computer vision, VR & AR, while Chloé was focused on the media industry and editorial content.

We blended our two approaches into what has become TARGO: using immersive technologies for compelling journalism experiences.

What problem are you trying to address for newsrooms?

We observed that testing new technology in-house is often expensive and time consuming, mostly because of a lack of expertise and internal resources. Sometimes, even just figuring out what to do can be a hassle.

This means that only a top few news organisations are testing and adopting new technologies because they’re the only ones that can afford the big investment upfront. This is what happened to virtual and augmented reality: It requires buying expensive 360° cameras, powerful computers, software, and learning new skills.

Eventually, it’s trapping the ecosystem: only a fraction of newsrooms can afford to test new technologies, preventing the majority from implementing them and evolving.

How are you attempting to solve the problems described above?

We created TARGO to be an immersive journalism studio expert in VR and AR. We can fast-track innovation in media companies by going from an idea to a deliverable piece of content efficiently and with high-quality standards.

Our mission is to help media companies find practical use for VR and AR; one that will match their editorial line and message. We therefore also guide news media on the editorial and technological side of things.

We believe that news media should be able to test and use immersive content without operating a major shift in their internal business. This is why all of the content we produce is white labeled (look-and-feel of our client) and ready to publish (no technical skill required). Our content is designed and crafted in-house: from the pitch to the deliverable — we handle everything.

What sets you apart from your competitors? List three elements.

We have the most extensive experience in immersive media. We collaborate with the most watched and demanding news media: The New York Times, USA Today, Al Jazeera, France Télévisions, and Euronews are recurring clients. We know how to adapt to the publisher’s different editorial line and expectations.

We gather a unique combination of skills in-house. To foster creativity, we have created bridges between jobs that usually don’t interact much. Journalists, creatives, and 3D designers work together to leverage technical skills for journalism.

Finally, we practice what we preach: TARGO is also its own media platform. Every two weeks, we publish reports on topics using only augmented and virtual reality. This platform is our own laboratory: we test, create, and refine new techniques in-house, so that everything we offer to our clients is grounded in tests and iterations that have proven useful and successful.

What is your business model?

TARGO’s original model is the one of an immersive creation studio. It is based on people and time dedicated to creating impactful experiences, from 360 video to 3D models.

What are your next steps?

First, we are prototyping the first news series that are augmented reality-first. Built only for AR. Today, augmented reality is mostly used as an alternative to photos and we aim to change that: we are working on making AR a storytelling tool.

In the long-run, we want to make TARGO the home of the best immersive experiences in AR and VR in the media industry.

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