SpaceVR has been at the forefront of virtual reality filming in space. Just last year, the company implemented a Kickstarter campaign to send a virtual reality camera to the International Space Station. They couldn’t acquire the necessary funding to do so, but no matter. SpaceVR has bolder plans in mind – filming their own virtual reality content from a satellite, essentially giving the company bragging rights to the world’s first virtual reality satellite camera.
With sights set on launching this virtual reality satellite as early as 2017, SpaceVR is re-upping their Kickstarter campaign and seeking outside seed funding in order to make their ambitious VR project come to fruition. The switch from sending a camera to the ISS and simply building their own satellite camera all came down to one crucial aspect: control. With their own satellite, SpaceVR wouldn’t be dependent on the astronauts’ time, which is already a sparsely available resource. Having complete control over a satellite allows SpaceVR to constantly create content without being shackled to the time-crunched astronauts on the ISS.
Dubbed Overview 1, this small, cube-shaped satellite is equipped with two 4K sensors with super wide field of view lenses that will each film footage overlapping with the other lenses. SpaceVR will work on editing and stitching together all of that footage recorded from Overview 1, adding production values to create a polished product. The SpaceVR team has complete autonomy over Overview 1, uploading the satellite with specific schedules that will direct when and where the satellite records footage, and then directly beaming that footage back to Earth.
“It’s definitely different, but I think in the long run it’s a lot better for everyone,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO of SpaceVR. “Now we have the ability to really immerse someone in space as if they were floating outside, which I believe is what most of our backers are really interested in anyway.” When Overview 1 is officially launched into space, the goal is for it to capture a number of two-minute time-lapse clips each week that will be available to backers shortly thereafter. The endgame for SpaceVR’s venture would be to live stream footage 24/7 from space, which co-founder Isaac DeSouza says would be “like Netflix, except you get to go to space.” Binging on space could become the next great pastime.