Apps like Google Earth already provide a wonderful way of exploring our planet using virtual reality (VR) technology. Allowing users to visit far off exotic locations they may never get the chance to travel to. Yet those kinds of apps tend to be limited to 360-degree photos and videos, which can only provide a limited level of immersion. Looking to take this to the next level is ZenART VR, a Bulgarian-based team who are using photogrammetry to make exploring locations even more realistic.
ZenART VR is a travel platform which aims to allow users to visit world landmarks and mythical places in VR with extraordinary visual fidelity. To do this they head to a place of interest and using state-of-the-art camera equipment and drones 3D scan the location to then digitally render in the studio.
“We all want virtual reality to get to the level where you can’t tell the difference between game and real life. That’s why we were super excited about the hype around VR, but also underwhelmed by the fact that most available experiences looked like games from 10 or 20 years ago. So, we got together and decided we should do something about it. Real-life locations were the obvious choice, since our goal was exceptional realism. Then it occurred to us that we could use the assets to take people where they can’t normally go, like Avalon or Atlantis,” says head writer Ivan Popov in a statement.
To help make the project a reality ZenART VR has turned to Kickstarter to crowdsource the funds needed. Looking to raise $75,000 USD, the team plan on launching ZenART VR in September 2019 with two locations, the real world Belogradchik Rocks and fictional Avalon. Supporting HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, the project can be backed for as little as $20 to gain access to the Belogradchik Rocks. Spend $35 or more and you’ll gain access to both locations.
ZenART VR isn’t just about digitally travelling to an awesome looking location, with the developers adding an interactive element to the project. Locations will have storylines, quests, and interactable objects. Users will be able to solve puzzles and learn the history while at the same time taking in the visual spectacle of day/night cycles and dynamic weather and lighting.
VRFocus will follow the progress of ZenART VR on Kickstarter, reporting back with the latest updates.