In the immersive world of animals – VR and AR cases
We love them, we pet them, we share our lives with them. Yes, this blog piece is all about animals, our dear friends, and our co-tenants, here, on Earth. During the centuries, we’ve managed to cooperate with each other – sometimes for the common good, sometimes only for ours, shamefully. But as we post it, the animal-rights activist movements are rising, which we believe can be stimulated by the new technologies.
Nowadays, various companies are often looking for new ways of using immersive technologies – some of them concern animals, especially those living and working close to us, even on farms (?). In the following text, we will look at the examples of applications related to different living creatures.
With this article you will learn:
– about the virtual and augmented reality projects showing the life of animals,
– in what way immersive media can help raise awareness about animal rights violations,
– how organizations can use AR technology to expand the capabilities of trained dogs.
Bumblebee 3D model from Giant Lazer project for IBL
Virtual reality can be magical, wonderful, and sensitizing simultaneously – as In the Eyes of the Animal project shows us. This audio-visual experience of an application is an accurate representation of the mysterious world of animal senses.
In The Eyes of the Animal was created using UAV’s, lidar scans, and bespoke 360° cameras. This has helped shape the point cloud aesthetic and ghostly architecture we view in the computer-generated environment. The visual experience is also complimented by a meditative binaural soundscape using audio recordings from forests in the UK. – says the developers.
This outstanding app is a gateway to at least begin to imagine how wild creatures perceive the surrounding world. Of course, it’s presented in a somewhat artsy and fantastic way, but that’s the creators’ right – to give their original vision.
Switching from the environmental visualization to activist statement slash immersive documentaries, we want to address an Animal Equality organization project featuring famous personalities that come together as ambassadors of the movement against the mass production of animal products.
360° video project called iAnimal is an eye-opening movie series showing the meat and milk industry reality – aggressive workers, brutal and inhumane practices, and the unbelievable animal suffering. Of course, it’s harsh and drastic, but its purpose is to raise awareness and make us realize how big companies are harvesting life itself.
source: Animal Equality
It’s important to mention that iAnimal is dedicated to PC and mobile users, as well as owners of VR gear, which seems to the best way to experience these video-reports.
There are also groundbreaking, but still, early-stage projects that deal with the immersive systems FOR animals. It’s no surprise that one of the most recent examples of them is conducted by the United States Army Research Laboratory, which experiments with AR gear for dogs. The team behind the program is The Command Sight – Seattle based engineers that create custom headsets for each dog based on the 3D scans of the animals.
“AR will be used to provide dogs with commands and cues; it’s not for the dog to interact with it like a human does. This new technology offers us a critical tool to better communicate with military working dogs.” – says Dr. Stephen Lee, an ARO senior scientist (source: www.army.mil).
Right now, it’s just the future-talk. Still, we can definitely see this kind of solution used by the police or task force during even the most demanding operations, like searching ruins, arresting dangerous groups, or conducting complicated rescue missions.