Virtual reality usually lets gamers escape into a different universe, but a new nature-inspired experience will use the technology to reveal a new view of the real world.
A new virtual reality project from London-based design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast will allow users, with the help of round helmets, to see an English forest from the point of view of the resident wildlife.
In an experience called “In the Eyes of the Animal,” participants who don round moss-covered headsets see the various wavelengths and fields of visions that foxes, deer, and birds see. The headsets also incorporate sound and a subwoofer to allow participants to see and even feel the forest the way a wild animal might.
The project uses a remote sensing tehcnology called LiDAR, CT scanning, and drones filming in 360-degree to create the immersive experience. Using the combination of cutting-edge tech, users can explore Grizedale Forest in northwest England, interacting with virtual flora and fauna.
Co-founder of Marshmallow Laser Feat Barney Steel says the hope of the project is to make people feel more compassionate toward nature.
“We’ve always had a hunger for hacking people’s senses by combining art and technology,” Steel said in an interview with Fast Company.
“Using VR to immerse someone in the sights and sounds of animals creates empathy by simulating the way that others sense the world. This type of first person perspective experience is—in my opinion—VR at its best.”
“In The Eyes Of The Animal” was showcased at the Abandon Normal Devices Festival, a traveling arts exhibit in the U.K, and is currently displayed at Grizedale Forest.
If the headsets garnish enough interest, Marshmallow Laser Feast hopes to expand to give more humans a look a view of the woods once reserved only for animals.