Most would agree immersive technologies can do some pretty amazing things, be they virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR). Be it allowing surgeons to collaborate across oceans, it can help education in both the East and the West. It can even immerse you in your favourite movie or bring the latest fashions to life.
What you may not be aware of is that as of May this year VR can also grant wishes, one in particular being that of seven-year-old Zayden Wright.
Zayden was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease at only two days old and has spent his entire young life in and out of hospital and undergoing a catalogue of operations and procedures underscored by a grand total of four open heart surgeries to date. Given the opportunity to choose anything by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Wright chose to ask to be sent to Saturn aboard a red rocket so he could see space. Which, frankly, is a brilliant wish.
The logistics of sending a small boy to Saturn are, of course, somewhat taxing. Especially given that humanity has yet to set foot on Mars. However, thanks to the team at TRICK 3D in Atlanta they were able to bring Zayden’s wish to life in VR, a first for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. However, it was still an undertaking that required a custom setup using NVIDIA hardware and Unreal Engine 4 in order to craft the necessary environment.
Thanks to mission records provided by NVIDIA, VRFocus is happy to report that following a training program that we can only assume to be very strict indeed the newly promoted Commander Zayden left Dobbins Air Reserve base on May 1st 2017 bound for the ringed giant. He was in the company of former NASA astronaut Commander LeRoy Chiao and he became the first person to not only set foot on Saturn but he also discovered alien life as well. Which is quite the accomplishment for a seven-year-old boy from Georgia.
You can see Zayden’s adventures, and the huge smile on his face, iin the video below. VRFocus will bring you more stories of the good VR is being used for around the world very soon.