Crédits photos : MIT Technology Review
A virtual reality diving experience simulates outer space as you lie face-down in a swimming pool. Spaced Out punctures gravity to plunge you into a breathtaking journey through the cosmos. A must-see experience at the Sundance Film Festival.
An underwater and space virtual reality experience
Sundance has quickly become famous for its selection of wild and experimental immersive projects available to the general public. No project is even remotely similar to Sundance’s New Frontier program. Whether it’s an immersive VR play featuring live actors or a multi-person mixed reality experience that monitors your breathing with biometric sensors,
This range of state-of-the-art immersive offerings includes Spaced Out. This is a virtual reality scuba diving experience that simulates the weightlessness of space. Users float face-down in a pool, wearing waterproof headphones. It is created by aquatic VR pioneer Ballast using their exclusive DiVR headset. Spaced Out combines VR technology with what the team describes as a “collage of scientific and poetic representations of the Moon”.
A VRScout reporter tested the experience and reports his feelings. “I jumped into the indoor pool and was attached to a bespoke buoy device attached to a weight set at the bottom of the pool. This was to prevent me from floating too far out of position and potentially injuring myself on the concrete edge of the pool,” he explains.
Experience weightlessness and space missions
After being properly secured, a member of the Ballast team, acting as a lifeguard of sorts, handed him a DiVR helmet. Its custom design uses water to enlarge the screen and enhance the visual experience. The headset has no specific earphones either. Instead, it emits sound through the device and uses the vibrations of the water to transmit it to the user. It’s a fascinating design that works just as well as standard in-ear headphones.
For 9 minutes, the user is transported from planet Earth to the center of the Moon. They experience weightlessness in space. At the same time, they can discover never-before-seen images from the Apollo 11 mission. He can also admire artistic representations of the space world. There are also animated elements such as snowstorms and volcanoes on the Earth’s surface. Combined with the weightlessness offered by aquatic VR, as well as several sound extracts taken in NASA’s control room during the Apollo mission, these images delivered a kind of surreal experience that gave the impression of stepping outside one’s body.
Spaced Out is a perfect example of how aquatic VR is already developing into an exciting sub-category of immersive entertainment.
Source : VR Scout