The BBC have announced a new, realtime rendered VR experience for the HTC Vive which aims to give people the chance to experience what it’s like to journey to space and take a walk into the void.

The BBC have continually tried to explore new forms of media production and consumption throughout their history and recently the broadcaster has been dipping its toe in the waters of immersive entertainment. First with 360 degree captures of their shows and now by exploring the possibilities realtime VR experiences.

A new project named Home: A VR Spacewalk is a collaboration between the BBC and UK VR content specialists Rewind. The new VRX (as Rewind call it) is a fully interactive, realtime rendered simulation of a spacewalk, built for the SteamVR-powered HTC Vive headset.


Home is a cinematic, narrative-led piece which Rewind say is inspired by NASA’s ESA training program which allows viewers to “really get to feel what it’s like to be an astronaut floating 250 miles above earth with stunning and vast views of the spaceship.” Rewind are bullish about the project’s technical achievements claiming Home contains “Some of the most advanced visual effects currently available in VR, accompanied with spatial audio have been used to create an incredibly visceral piece of content,” says Rewind CEO and founder, Sol Rogers.

Due to premiere at next week’s Sheffield Doc Festival on June 10th, Home also includes biometric input, with those who try the experience able to monitor their own heart rate during their journey into space. The experience also apparently supports the use of haptic motion chairs, although it’s not clear if this will form part of what’s on offer at the Sheffield Doc Festival premiere.

Rewind also recently collaborated on another realtime VR project, producing an experiential VR piece for musician Björk to create a musical VR experience for ‘Notget’, a single from Björk’s 8th studio album, ‘Vulnicura’. The piece forms part of a new exhibition dubbed “Björk Digital” at Sydney’s Carriageworks as part of Vivid Sydney, an arts and technology festival. Once again built for the HTC Vive, the piece uses data from physical performances, visualised stylistically in VR and built around a room-scale VR experience.

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Home: A VR Spacewalk will premiere at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival on 10th June and via BBC Taster in the coming months.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • John Nemesh

    Is this coming to Steam? When will we be able to try this at home?

    • ummm…

      ur flag is upside down…….

      • John Nemesh

        Yes it is. Distress signal. Our democracy is in crisis!

        • ummm…

          why do you feel that way, besides citizens united and gerrymandering. what has changed in the last 8 years re: basic democracy?

  • Malkmus

    “Due to premiere at next week’s Sheffield Doc Festival on June 10th”

    Typo? That would be today.

    • glyphery

      I too was hoping this was a typo, because it’s obviously not that useful to post a story alerting us of a cool upcoming VR-related event when it’s already happened.

      For the benefit of anyone else browsing these comments, I just Googled the festival and it actually did start today (and runs until the 15th). The good news (?) is that I searched all nine pages of the festival’s events and see no indication of any “Home: A VR Spacewalk” on the programme. So those of us living in the UK who could have arranged travel to Sheffield aren’t actually missing out on this particular experience.

      Now I just have to hope it comes to “BBC Taster” (and, if the people who poured time and effort into producing it actually want as many people to see their work as possible, to Steam) in the near future, as it sounds brilliant.

      • kai

        It is listed on the Alternate Realities page

        • glyphery

          Ah, thanks, kai. I assumed that it would be included on the list of “All Events”. I should have kept searching! ;-)

  • Pete


  • Sebastien Mathieu

    trump is almost about to get president….. yes your democracy is definitely in danger…

  • Nigel Andrews

    I am interested in how the BBC are working with VR and I’m following the BBC Taster.
    But when I have contacted them to understand how I can view their VR output in my Vive they say “I’m afraid we don’t currently have any experiences for the HTC Vive on Taster.”
    This seems at odds to the headline of this thread “BBC and Rewind Team up for Stunningly Rendered VR Spacewalk Experience on Vive”!!!
    can anyone comment?