VR Trip Takes You to Antarctica Research Station
A free Virtual Reality experience takes you to an authentically rendered virtual research station in Antarctica which has been recreated using photogrammetric techniques.
Even the most avid travelers have never ventured into the far reaches of the Antarctica. Our only window into this strange, distant and forlorn world is via pictures and documentaries. A research station in the Antarctica is certainly out of bounds even to the most adventurous tourist.
Now a virtual reality experience created using photogrammetry takes you into a virtual tour of a research station in the Antarctica. The experience was created by the Antarctic Heritage Trust, a nonprofit organization which is dedicated to the history of the Antarctic, in collaboration with the Auckland University of Technology. The experience gives you a partially photorealistic Virtual Reality tour of the famous research station in the Antarctic. Over 4,000 hours was put into creating this virtual tour project.
The virtual experience takes you on a trip back time to the 1950s where you virtually travel on the original version of the Scott Base, a New Zealand research station in the Antarctic.
Back in the day, the travel researcher Sir Edward Hillary built the first dwelling in the Antarctic close to where the present research station is situated. The VR experience takes you through five original rooms where many finds and artifacts from the Antarctic research can be seen. The extreme conditions and the cold and dry climate on the continent ensure that Scott’s original dwelling is still well preserved in pristine shape and looks almost like it did back in the 1950s.
The VR experience clearly brings out the rigors of life and research in extreme weather. Researchers in the Antarctica are constantly exposed to temperatures below the freezing point, icy winds and even stormy blizzards.
Researchers here must to learn to be survivors, something that is clearly brought out in the VR experience which gives you insights on the everyday life in this area. In such extreme weather, the normal everyday chores have to be done in a completely different way than in normal weather conditions. Even the smallest things and actions have to be planned carefully.
You can access the virtual trip to the Antarctica through the Antarctica Heritage Trust smartphone app in the iOS and Android stores. The fully interactive and immersive version of the tour is available on SteamVR.
The Virtual Experience was primarily intended to help schools teach kids the history and exploration of the Antarctica. Additional information on its development and use in schools is available on the official project website.