The Oceans 360 project was launched with a simple goal in mind, increase peoples’s awareness of the importance of the world’s oceans and inspire them to take action to save it.
Why do this?
After watching the acclaimed documentary, Chasing Coral, I was moved to take some action myself. I have spent considerable time with scientists who study these issues. I have helped with scientific studies on climate change in Antarctica. I have worked with conservation organizations globally. And, I felt it was time for me to help find solutions and contribute in a way that would help save our planet from the destructive path we are on.
What is it?
I came up with the idea of shooting underwater, 180 degree, 3D, high resolution video, and have people experience the beauty of the oceans using virtual reality (VR). What is virtual reality? It is the computer-generated images of an image, video or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as special goggles with a screen inside.
In this case, video captured with a special camera is processed by a computer so that it can viewed as if you were a scuba diver, or on land with your normal 3D vision. In other words, you put on the virtual reality headset, (we use the Oculus Go), and it seemingly puts you in a transparent bubble underwater.
How does it work?
You can move your body around like you are in a clear bubble and see 180 degrees around you in stereo. You can look straight up and down, everywhere around the bubble and see the actual scene the video captured filling your vision. You become the scuba diver but you stay dry! You can watching the fish swim by and watch the sea currents moving gently moving the underwater plants and animals. It is a completely immersive experience and one that has a big impact on viewers.
The videos are short, 3-5 minutes, and are on different topics like coral reefs, sharks, sea lions Humpback whales, and the kelp forests. They are shot in various locations around the globe by scientists and underwater photographers. We have partnered with people who have shot professionally for National Geographic, the BBC, and worked on the Blue Planet series and scientists who are focused on saving the oceans. Our editor is an Emmy award winning, underwater virtual reality video specialist.
Where are the VR headsets used?
The VR videos are provided to schools, museums and aquariums so students and visitors can experience the oceans in a way they never have before. The videos can be provided with narration or a facilitator can narrate the video live. We are a nonprofit organization and no one draws a salary. 100% of donations go into running the nonprofit and making the videos available to as many people as possible.
Kids Exploring a Coral Reef with Oculus Go Virtual Reality Goggles
We need your help!
Please consider joining with other concerned people and institutions to help make this possible. The oceans need your help.
Steve Mandel, Executive Director
The Oceans 360 project is sponsored by the Lions of Gir Foundation, a (501)(c)(3) organization.