Experience diving the Great Barrier Reef without having to travel to Australia – How? With virtual reality technology.
Australian nonprofit New Horizon and in partnership with BBC, Google, Netflix and Twitter have produced a digital experience that makes the famous reef accessible from your couch.
This virtual reality project immerses audiences that is both beautiful and alien. Some of the efforts behind this project are big names, including David Attenborough and Google, making sure that each episode is as entertaining and educational.
Curbing Global Warming
The documentation film of the Great Barrier Reef comes as an effort to save and inspire everyone to change our behaviour in taking care of our nature.
As global warming pushes sea temperatures higher, an estimated 29% of the shallow-water corals were killed last year alone. According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the government body is responsible for monitoring its health.
Bleachings in 2016 and 2017 killed a lot of tiny marine life and if global warming will be curbed, the reef will have a chance to recover. If not, the VR experience and watching the documentary might become the only way the future generations will witness the beauty of the reef.
Experience Virtual Reality Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
To experience the VR dive tour, BBC’s “Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough” is a good place to start.
Released in 2015, the three part series hosted by David Attenborough, introduces the audiences to the Great Barrier Reef’s inhabitants. You can check out and stream the documentary on Netflix.
Take note also that VR experience is not suitable for children under 13 years and people with some medical conditions. So, it is advisable to read the health and safety notice before you book.
Atlantic Productions and Alchemy VR, creators of “Dive”, have also produced and interactive site with 5 chapters, each set to different locations of the Great Barrier Reef. Each chapter were accompanied by videos and slides that lets users explore the wonders of the reef and its inhabitants.
One of the highlights in the interactive site is the depiction of the polluted and deteriorating health of the reef. It enables the viewer to pan a 360 degree view and an interface that lets you change the amount of pollution hitting the reef.
At the Jackson Hole Wildlife film festival, the website won the Best Interactive award.
More Immersive Experience with Google VR
Take a closer look at the Great Barrier Reef with Google’s Google Earth VR and Street View experience. Explore the reef with a different perspective. And if you want to to get more of a complete understanding, then, experience Google Expeditions.
Diving with Mitchell Oates
Last July, Twitter in collaboration with travel personality Mitchell Oates did a livestream of the dive in the Great Barrier Reef. More than a hundred thousand viewers watched the exploration of Oates’ dive which can be viewed on a replay from his Periscope channel.
Unlike any other documentaries, the quality of the video isn’t pristine but it gives a realistic experience of the unedited recording.
These VR documentaries will definitely hit audiences right in the gut because it gives everyone a realistic experience and realises how important it is to take care of mother earth’s resources.
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