No, Blueplanet VR Explore isn’t a virtual version of the memorable David Attenborough-narrated nature series. But it does look like it could be something special unto itself.
This experience — which released on PC VR headsets last year — just popped up in the Coming Soon section of the Oculus Store and is developed by a studio of the same name. Explore brings over 40 real-world locations into VR with volumetric capture. That means these aren’t just simple 360 degree images and videos but 3D environments digitally recreated using photogrammetry – a process of making 3D assets by stitching together thousands of real-world images.
As such, you’ll be able to move around these environments, and some can be viewed from a virtual hang gliding experience. You’ll also be able to summon information about your surroundings as you explore. Locations include Borobudur Temple in Indonesia and Bears Ears National Monument in the southwestern US.
Usually, VR travel apps are constrained by the limited nature of 360 capture, but the few examples of volumetric capture out there do prove more compelling. We’re big fans of National Geographic’s Oculus Quest launch app, for example, which lets you travel to Machu Picchu. Expect Blueplanet VR to take a hit in the visuals department in the transition to Quest, but we’ll still be interested to see what kind of quality bar it can hit.
A release date for Blueplanet VR hasn’t been confirmed, but we’ll try to bring you some impressions when we can. Will you be checking the app out? Let us know in the comments below!