In 'A Piece Of The Universe,' users teleport to relaxing locales and poke around with virtual objects, transforming the notion of a staycation

The official start of summer is just around the corner, and though not everyone has the time or money to spend on a relaxing holiday, designer Bastiaan Hooimeijer has created a VR diorama that lets users de-stress on their own digital vacay.

Using Google Blocks, a free 3D modeling software platform that lets developers easily make custom objects, the designer created “A Piece Of The Universe,” a free, downloadable diorama that lets users interact with ordinary objects and teleport to various relaxing locations. Through a VR headset, users can explore the environment around them, including a small pond or an empty house along a countryside road.

Using wand stick controllers, objects can be picked up as the user digs further into each world. These interactions are simple—such as poking waterlilies with a stick, or lighting a match to create a flame—but that's intentional. Hooimeijer, co-founder of Netherlands-based 3D animation studio Happy Ship and better known by his online handle “Naam,” said he wanted to create a simple digital world where users could escape for 10 to 15 minutes of relaxation. “I'm not a vacation kind of guy,” said the designer in a statement. “I never go anywhere, but I do have some escapist urges.”

A Piece Of The Universe, currently available on Naam's website for a price of your choice, is certainly interesting, as it showcases the potential CX applications of VR in a number of different industries. Could “digital vacations” based on real destinations become more desirable with more advanced technology? Or could this be a new way of selling real estate developments that are still under construction? While still only a prototype, it would be exciting to see if this idea could be developed further.

A Piece Of The Universe

The official start of summer is just around the corner, and though not everyone has the time or money to spend on a relaxing holiday, designer Bastiaan Hooimeijer has created a VR diorama that lets users de-stress on their own digital vacay.

Using Google Blocks, a free 3D modeling software platform that lets developers easily make custom objects, the designer created “A Piece Of The Universe,” a free, downloadable diorama that lets users interact with ordinary objects and teleport to various relaxing locations. Through a VR headset, users can explore the environment around them, including a small pond or an empty house along a countryside road.