National Geographic teams up with explorer Mike Libecki to transform a traditional presentation into an immersive VR experience.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending National Geographic Museum’s first ever live VR experience. This sold out show exhibited National Geographic Explorer and Adventure Scientist Mike Libecki’s multi-year pursuit to collect and document microplastic pollution in some of the world’s most remote locations and share his journey with the help of immersive VR technology.
Using some of the latest 360° degree camera technology, Mike recorded some of his most intimate and perilous moments as he paddleboarded alongside polar bears in Greenland and climbed two big wall first ascents on the remote island of Ua Pou. Even more amazing was his trusty film crew who accompanied him throughout all but one of his expeditions to capture these awe-inspiring areas of our world.
“If I can get people to feel these powerful beautiful moments, that’s a way I can get people to care.” – Mike Libecki1
Pulling off a live VR presentation requires a great deal of logistics and hardware. That’s where Mike enlisted the expertise of childhood friend and CEO of virtual reality firm Spaces, Shiraz Akmal to provide a synchronous broadcast to a live audience of over 300 people. Using a slew of Samsung’s Gear VR headset and connected Samsung S7 Galaxy smartphones, Mike was able to weave a handful of VR segments into his presentation providing each audience member with a first-person perspective of his wildest journeys.
Pro Tip: Experiencing VR for extended periods of time can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea for some so it was nice that Mike and his team created brief, three to five minute VR segments to help prevent the auditorium from turning into a vomitorium.
It was a truly memorable experience for everyone in attendance. My hat goes off to National Geographic Museum staff, Mike and his team, and Spaces for putting on an amazing (but certainly not last) live VR experience. Check out all of the events happening at National Geographic Live here.
Below are a few 3D objects and environments which we’ve created for a few of our courseware titles.
It’s never been easier to immerse your students in VR and augmented reality (AR). If you’re wondering how you can use this exciting technology in your classroom, here’s a list of some of the newest virtual creation tools available for educators:
- Google Expeditions – allows students to get in the center of 360-degree photos and 3D scenes with historical importance.
- Google Expeditions (AR) – uses Google Tango technology to effectively scan and map the physical room and accurately project 3D models throughout. Positional tracking allows students to walk around the objects and view them from any angle they wish. Back away for a full view or step in closer for a better look.
- YouTube – Virtual Reality – YouTube’s collection of curated 360 degree videos.
- Discovery VR – Discovery embraces a VR technology to tell these amazing stories immersing you in experiences like never before.
- Anatomyou – an immersive app to learn human anatomy through immersive 3D virtual reality navigation of the human body.
- Chalk (iPhone) – This app allows you to share a live view of a problem, talk about it, and draw on the world with Chalk Marks to provide clear instructions.
- NYT VR – This app allows you to view all of New York Times’ VR enabled content
Feel free to share your favorite VR or AR resources in the comments below!
1 Paddleboarding with Polar Bears