Australian virtual reality (VR) studio, Start VR has created several immersive experiences for Samsung Gear VR, such as live action, cinematic film VR Noir, StartGATE and helping patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Its latest project is travel-based, releasing Atlas Obscura VR for the mobile headset this week.
Atlas Obscura VR has been made in collaboration with Atlas Obscura, which creates guides to the world’s hidden wonders. The app offers a curated selection of content, with the first season featuring experiential visits to The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA; The Temples of Humankind: Damanhur in Italy and The Salina Turda salt mine in Romania.
Discussing the app Start VR’s Chief Content Officer Martin Taylor said in a statement: “We strongly believe VR is more compelling as an interactive medium when it engages the visitor in the story. For this project we captured the most fascinating features and stories from each destination to provide visitors with the impression that they’re traveling with a companion and to give them the intuitive freedom to explore and interact at their own pace.”
Each episode is 15 minutes long with holographic versions of Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras and Senior Editor Ella Morton hosting.
“Many VR nonfiction apps, especially in travel, approach the VR medium by simply dragging the viewer along, or plopping them down somewhere with no ability to explore, but that’s not the true experience of travel! With Atlas Obscura VR, we wanted to capture the experience of exploring a fascinating location and not knowing what’s around the corner,” said Thuras. “We wanted to push what the VR nonfiction experience could be, both by choosing the most unusual, incredible locations possible and by using a mix of photogrammetry, high-resolution stereo imagery and documentary all set within an environment where the explorer gets to decide where to go and what to do next.”
The Temples of Humankind: Damanhur episode is free to download with the following two episodes available for purchase.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Start VR, reporting back with further updates.
Source: Explore the World with Start VR’s Travel Experience Atlas Obscura VR