A tech-based preservation technique ensures future generations can see extinct landscapes
Arguably the most talked about technology of last year, it looks as though 2016 will follow suit as a new VR concept aimed at future generations blends 360-degree video with VR.
A new Kickstarter project named Catalog.Earth has been successfully backed to produce a 360-degree 4K video for VR purposes of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska. With urbanization, deforestation, tourism, war, and climate change transforming the world before us, two students aim to capture the quickly fading, iconic sight. An endangered landscape, the glacier descends from an ice field 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, down the flanks of the Chugach Mountains and into a narrow inlet that leads into Prince William Sound in southeastern Alaska. It is known as one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in the world and will cease around 2020, according to a study by the University of Colorado Boulder. Alongside the super detailed, high res 360 video, the project’s founders also aims to deliver audio recordings so users can truly grasp what the environment feels like to be in.
David Al-Ibrahim and Saba Singh are the two enthusiasts behind Catalog.Earth. Both interaction design grad students at the School of Visual Arts in New York they are researching how immersive video and virtual experiences affect the real world. With relation to this project, throughout 2015, they have been exploring how climate change data and VR technology can combine.
Even though the project is aimed at future generations, it is also relevant and could be highly useful to use as Virtual Tourism for people who aren’t able to travel the world for various reasons. It can also be used as a way to educate children as to what else the world entails, inspiring them to learn about different spaces, places, people and cultures.
The duo plan to document the somewhat tricky process of their project on YouTube, which is sure to get thousands, if not millions of hits, proving VR to be the star of technology for 2016 as well.