SpaceVR, a company founded in January 2015 with the goal of bringing 360 degree virtual reality (VR) immersive video from space, has now launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to raise $500,000 USD to make that goal a reality.
The team at SpaceVR have created the Overview One 360 degree camera which they plan to launch into space to collect footage from the International Space Station (ISS) so that anyone with a VR head-mounted display (HMD) can experience space in VR. The camera takes its name from a term astronauts use called the ‘Overview Effect’, where being in space and looking down at the Earth, astronauts are hit with an astounding reality: our planet is a tiny, fragile ball of life in the vast emptiness of space.
While SpaceVR has been designing, prototyping and building the Overview One, it couldn’t get the camera to the ISS alone. Company partners include Nanoracks, a business that specialises in getting payloads to space and Made In Space who will 3D print the camera casing on the ISS to keep the payload weight low.
With the funding from the Kickstarter campaign, SpaceVR will use this to launch the Overview One into space alongside first year operations for the company. If the funding goals are past then the team has more ideas planned, including: live-streaming content from space, sending a VR camera to the moon in 2017, landing a VR camera on an asteroid in 2022 and going to Mars as soon as 2026.
The footage will be available for most VR HMD’s including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. VRFocus will continue to follow SpaceVR’s Kickstarter progress as the campaign continues.