VR ocean dives
The Hydrous is a San Francisco-based non-profit collective of scientists, filmmakers and divers taking people on immersive virtual dives to create a sense of 'universal ocean empathy,' raising awareness of reef damage and inspiring action to protect our seas. Intended to be watched with a VR headset, viewers can join marine biologist Erika Woolsey for a nine-minute guided virtual dive on the coral reefs off the western Pacific Island of Palau, immersed in a 360-degree underwater view. They swim alongside manta rays, sea turtles and sharks before witnessing the deterioration of the reefs, and the experience often elicits strong reactions. The team is also developing a virtual experience that will put the participant in the role of a marine biologist, tracking and monitoring manta rays, conducting biodiversity surveys underwater, and even transporting the viewer to space to monitor global sea surface temperatures.