Schoolhouse Rock had the right idea. If you can just make learning fun then maybe the concepts will stick. The fact that most of us still know exactly how a bill becomes a law today is a testament to their philosophy.
Educational VR Startup Curiscope wants to use immersive technology to accomplish this same goal.
Curiscope created a 360 video that places you underwater, bringing you face-to-face with two Great White sharks. As the experience progresses your ears are treated to a soothing voice-over detailing interesting facts about the animals. Eventually, one of the virtual sharks becomes an X-Ray version of itself, making it possible for you to study its inner workings while it swims.
The passion driving Curiscope to produce this video was conservation. The team was inspired by the story of a Great White shark who was captured on the coast of Japan, put on display and unfortunately died in captivity.
Curiscope CEO Ed Barton hopes creating immersive, accessible and powerfully informative VR and AR experiences about wildlife, will help his company reduce the demand – and the prevalence – of captive animal displays around the world.
“[We want] to disrupt an industry of captive animals,” Barton explained during an interview with UploadVR.
For the effort, PETA UK recognized the company with a Proggy award, which is given for “animal-friendly achievements in commerce and culture,” according to PETA.
Barton’s attitude toward the award is to humbly deflect credit onto the technology that made it possible.
“As much as that award is ours it belongs to VR,” Barton said.
The experience also boasts a 3D immersive soundtrack (with headphones) created by Mixed Immersion.
Curiscope is positioning itself as a leader in the still developing world of educational VR experiences and for Barton his company’s motivations are simple and clear.
Curioscope’s shark preview video is currently hosted on YouTube and Vrideo, with 300,000 views and climbing. The company is also planning to launch a standalone app for the Gear VR. The company’s plan to monetize its altruistic ambitions is still being worked out, according to Barton “money is an enabler and a byproduct – it is part of doing good.”
Barton acknowledges “the answer will change over time… there is nothing stopping us from putting out paid apps.” The real opportunity, he says, is in finding a big audience. One of those mass market opportunities will be tested in February when Curiscope launches a Kickstarter project focused on something for kids that will be announced soon. We will bring you news on that project closer to its launch.