The Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset is already being used to allow users to explore real world locations from the comfort of their own homes, but developers are yet to travel to space. Now Aaron Knoll and his team at the Surrey Space Centre in the UK are hoping to do just that with the launch of a new Kickstarter campaign for a project that takes users from the Earth’s surface and up into the atmosphere.
The project, named VR2Space, launched a campaign earlier this week hoping to raise £5,000 GBP by 20th July 2014. The developers intend to launch a weather balloon holding 12 HD video cameras up to a 30km altiude before the balloon bursts and the cameras release a parachute on the journey back to Earth. From there, the team will stich together a 360 degree video and allow users to observe the ride using an Oculus Rift.
Should the campaign prove successful then the team hopes to launch the balloon in July 2014, with a second attempt scheduled for September 2014 should it prove necessary. From there, the team hopes to release the software on PC and smartphone in May 2015. The Oculus Rift compatible version of the software is available on Kickstarter for £6 and will be available on PC, Mac and Linux. It will also be possible to tamper with the video, slowing it down or speeding it up and even reversing time. A standard PC version is also available for £4 and the smartphone version for £5, though all three can be secured for £10.
It’s the project’s second attempt at Kickstarter funding, albeit this time with drastically reduced goals and backer rewards. The original project sought £30,000, but the new one has reduced its price by halving the amount of cameras from 24 to 12. The proposed altitude has also been increased since the previous attempt. VRFocus will continue to follow VR2Space‘s development and report back with any more news.