Orbital View’s outer space experience feels authentic and awe-inspiring, but is ultimately lacking.
By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content
The exploration of space has inspired millions to look up beyond the Earth in search of answers. For those interested in taking a step closer to the stars, virtual reality is a nice gateway to learning more about the planets and heavenly bodies that surround us. The latest app to focus on this idea is Overview VR.
Created by Orbital Views and based on information gathered from NASA and the European Space Agency, Overview VR strives to be the most accurate representation of our solar system available for VR headsets. It’s an impressive application, and it has some beautiful images of both the planets and the Milky Way.
The main gist of Overview VR is a 30-minute educational tour of the solar system. It’s pretty basic information that most adults interested in space probably know, but if you’re just getting into the whole ‘space’ thing, then it has a good bit of starter info to get a grasp on. Even if you already know the info, it’s still worth a play through because it brings the solar system to life quite brilliantly.
Once you’re done with the main point, it’s time to move on to the ‘Explore’ mode, which allows you to explore the solar system in two different manners. The first manner, called Sagan mode (named after American astronomer Carl Edward Sagan) allows you to zoom out from the Earth and beyond the Milky Way. You can’t get very close to planets, though, which means you’ll see things from a birds-eye perspective.
The second mode, called Newton Mode (named after Isaac Newton) allows you to zoom in more on the planets and other heavenly bodies, but it’s focused only on the solar system, which means you won’t see as much outside of the Milky Way as you will in Sagan mode. It’s still a good way to look through the various planets and moons in the solar system, and the sheer amount of detail in the images is awe-inspiring.
I wish there was more interactivity with the experience. While you can zoom in on some of the planets, there’s not much else to do. This means you don’t quite get to experience things—at least not in my opinion—and I’d love to see more come out of the experience in the future. Of course, they do have some more modes planned, so we’ll just have to wait and see what else Orbital Views has in store.