Home Headline News IMMERSE VR Supporting World Oceans Day

IMMERSE VR Supporting World Oceans Day

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IMMERSE, a virtual reality (VR) 3D 360º film co-developed by the Hydrous and Horizon Productions to generate awareness and scientific understanding of coral reefs, will launch on the Oculus Store for the Oculus Go headset, and through Viveport Video on June 8th, World Oceans Day.

The film takes the viewer on a virtual dive on coral reefs. During the dive, viewers are guided by marine biologist and Hydrous CEO Dr. Erika Woolsey. Additional scientists and young ocean advocates narrate the journey. The Hydrous goal for IMMERSE is to take one million people on a virtual dive and to educate viewers on the dangers our ocean faces and the inextricable connection between the ocean and human survival. The film is now available free of charge on the above platforms, and through Hydrous classroom programs, events, and festivals. 

IMMERSE recently made its premiere at the International Ocean Film Festival and was the recipient of three 2019 Telly Awards in the Documentary, Not for Profit, and Use of 360º categories. Horizon Productions has been working with the Hydrous on the film since early 2018: Jason McGuigan, Horizon’s Chief Creative Officer, accompanied Woolsey and The Hydrous team to capture footage in Palau, including that of manta rays, sharks, corals, sea turtles, red snapper spawning, and famous Palauan dive sites. Additional footage was collected at the Philippine Coral Reef Exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Woolsey and the Hydrous believe that VR can be a powerful tool to connect people to threatened marine ecosystems. “Technology like virtual reality allows people to visit places they’ve never been and may never go,” said Woolsey. “Few people get to travel beneath the waves, and many perceive the ocean as scary or even empty, so how can we protect what we don’t see or think about?” In describing the Hydrous-Horizon partnership, Woolsey says, “We were extremely fortunate to partner with Horizon Productions to tell the ocean’s story in a beautiful and compelling way. Jason and his team have been incredible collaborators from ideation to execution, and I was consistently amazed by their creative and technical talents, and deeply appreciated their unwavering dedication to our shared vision and mission.”

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Ivy Heffernan, student of Economics at Buckingham University. Junior Analyst at HeffX and experienced marketing director.