SkyGaze Mixed Reality Star Gazing App Now Available on Quest via App Lab
SkyGaze is a mixed reality experience that transforms your room into a stargazing lounge. SkyGaze uses the passthrough cameras on the Quest headset to integrate the immediate surroundings in a virtual planetarium, allowing you to explore planets, search for constellations and learn more about the planets. You can even attend a show in a virtual planetarium right from the comfort of your couch.
In spite of its simple construction, the app still provides a captivating mixed reality experience by leveraging the Passthrough API in Meta Quest.
When using the app, you will begin by identifying and mapping out the walls in the real-world room you are positioned using Touch controllers. After completing the setup, the ceiling of your room starts to retract to reveal a crystal-clear night sky with stars, planets, and constellations. They will all have accurate positioning according to your geographical location and the local time. The app even gives you the option of lowering the walls in your room in order to see more of the night sky.
The developer Emanuel Tomozei says the app is still a work in progress at the moment and that its current features are just a sample of what users can expect when it finally launches as a full-fledged app.
In spite of that, the app, in its current form, still gives you lots to do along with a captivating mixed reality experience. It allows you to search and identify disparate stars, planets, and constellations.
The app also features a separate planetarium space where users can watch a 360-degree film on the solar system. Overall, SkyGaze gives you a very surreal experience that transports you out of your current surroundings into a vast planetary world. You can even watch giant city-sized asteroids pass overhead, inside your headset.
A free demo of the SkyGaze app is available on Meta Quest through the App Lab. According to a trailer released by the developer, it also appears that the app will have a virtual telescope mode in the future which will provide users with extra stargazing opportunities.
When it fully launches, the app should provide a striking virtual stargazing experience, particularly when it is coupled with Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria headset with its impressive high-resolution color passthrough functionality.
SkyGaze first appeared as Stargazer as part of the submissions in the Facebook XR Hackathon where it emerged third in the Mixed Reality category. Tomozei had stated at the time he’d use the prize money to develop the experience into a full-fledged app. That is already taking shape.
Skygaze Demo is now on AppLab! Feedback and ideas are welcome. Download link in the comments. from OculusQuest
To learn more about the SkyGaze mixed reality star gazing app, check out the project website here.