Smart Screen

Vast Media Smart Screen Round-Up: Discovery Endangered Species VR, BET Web Series

Here’s a run-down of recent second screen-related entertainment items, via Berlin-based research and consulting company Vast Media.

• On Nov. 21, BET Digital, the online-first arm of BET Networks, debuted the eight-part web drama “,” which follows Skylar and Blue, two white-collar execs who tackle their demons (a battle with cancer and alcoholism, respectively, while writing a script for a “Netflix and Chill” writing competition.

Before being picked up by BET, the series won American Black Film Festival and BronzeLens Film Festival awards.

• As part of National Education Week in mid-November, Discovery launched three new virtual reality experiences, including the interactive “Racing Extinction: Operation Preservation,” available via the Discovery VR app and the Samsung Gear VR.

Offering an up-close encounter with several wild animals on the brink of extinction, the experience takes users into a remote research lab, where they’re tasked with following the observations and field notes of a biologist, who offers insights into wildlife preservation. The offering finishes with several 360-degree videos, covering rhinos, lions, whale sharks and more.

• To promote the mid-November debut of the drama series “Knightfall,” A&E Networks Nov. 15 released a tie-in mobile card game, dubbed “Knightfall: Rivals,” available on the Steam platform as an app for both Android and iOS devices. Free to play, with in-app purchases, the game features a series of card battles against other players, with rare strategy cards that have players fighting among sects of the Knights Templar.

• In a nod to service members ahead of Veteran’s Day, National Geographic launched the voice-controlled app “Bravo Tango Brain Training,” which offers up mediation and mental health exercises for veterans dealing with trauma. Inspired by the war drama “The Long Road Home,” the app — developed with an Air Force psychologist and combat vet — recognizes more than 40 moods (sadness, anger, regret, etc.) and offers up appropriate responses. The app is available for Google Assistant.

• Ahead of the Nov. 12 European Music Awards, MTV offered users of its official app an update, featuring 360-degree performances, photo galleries, videos and news articles about the show. For the first time ever, the app included an augmented reality feature, which allowed users to take EMA-themed selfies and AR interactive elements that were available during the show.