Can sharing science and data through Virtual Reality make it easier to connect with? Well, Plymouth MBA (Marine Biological Society) think so. We are working with them to create a VR experience that combines VR animation with 360 video footage.

Sharing Science and Data through Virtual Reality

Plymouth MBA research plankton populations , among other things,  to see how changes in ocean temperatures affect them. Using their Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) they have measured these populations for over 80 years. During that time they have discovered significant changes in the numbers and types of plankton as a result of climate change.

This important data is used to inform government policy but the MBA also wanted to share their findings with wider audiences, in a way that was easily accessible. Our idea was to use VR to show their research. Through the use of animation, audiences can not only understand their work but interact with it.

The Project: Virtual Reality and 360 Video Combined

In this project, one of the Virtual Reality animations allows audiences dive underwater to get a close look at copepods, one form of zoo plankton. Wearing a VR headset such as an Oculus, they can even ‘pick up’ one of these tiny creatures to find out more about them. Users will also have the option to control ocean temperatures to see how the plankton populations change.

These are combined with 360 video footage captured on the MBA research vessel Sepia. We filmed the launch of the CPR and even sent our 360 camera underwater. We then returned to land, to film in the MBA’s laboratory, which processes all of the information gathered by the CPR.

The project is in it’s final stages. the VR elements are being created and tested in Unity. We are really excited and can’t wait to try out the final version. Find out more about our virtual reality and 360 video projects.





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