Altair Digital have announced that they are to bring the wonder of the solar system as historically experienced via your local Planetarium to virtual reality with Fulldome Cinema.
One of the earliest forms of immersive education and perhaps a pre-cursor to virtual reality, planetariums have engaged audiences with their panoramic representation of the night sky and, latterly, many other natural wonders besides.
Now, Russian company Altair Digital has seen an opportunity to tap into content produced for their so-called ‘Fulldome’ planetariums, very wide-angle content traditionally projected onto the domed ceilings of purpose built theatres. The company currently specialises in portable domed projection systems, so this certainly feels like a logical step for the company.
Altair have produced an application called ‘Fulldome Cinema‘, now available for the Samsung Gear VR, which renders a digital representation of a planetarium theatre inside VR, complete with 200 virtual seats and a 20 metre, domed projection screen. Using this, Altair then take existing Fulldome projection experiences from the real world and project those into the VR planetarium. As existing experiences are produced in stereoscopic 3D, they’re ideal for VR viewing, and the naturally panoramic scenes can be glanced around at using head-tracking as you would expect.
Right now, the experience is only available for Samsung Gear VR with a selection of free content and trailers but Altair Digital are planning to expand this scope with in-development versions of the app “coming” for Oculus Rift and Android VR platforms too. We’re presuming that eventually, full length Fulldome content will be available for purchase within the application itself.