Sports Illustrated Releases a New 360 VR Experience That Lets You Climb Mount Everest

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 - 11:47AM
Technology
Virtual Reality
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 - 11:47AM
Sports Illustrated Releases a New 360 VR Experience That Lets You Climb Mount Everest
Image credit: Time Inc., Sports Illustrated
Today marks the release of Sports Illustrated's new VR experience, Capturing Everest. It's a trip up the highest mountain in the world, starting from Kathmandu and ending at the summit, but rather than being a single continuous video, Everest is split into four parts, each one shot with a 360 degree camera, meaning that you're free to look in any direction at any time. Here's the trailer, to give you a taste of the video quality and 360 views.

We've been covering a lot of VR topics recently, from Syfy Channel's panel on VR storytelling to the recent Alien: Covenant In Uteroa promotional VR experience that lets you take the POV of a chestburster. Video games and movies usually steal the spotlight (and hype) when it comes to virtual reality because it means users can enter a kind of technological Willy Wonka factory: in VR, the only limit to the virtual world is imagination. But one of the great opportunities for full-on VR headsets like the Vive or Rift is really something like Everest—a once-in-a-lifetime, real-world experience that's suddenly available to everyone.

In their panel at SVCC, Virgin Galactic argued that going into space even for a few minutes grants passengers on their spacecraft a unique view of the world, one that only a handful of astronauts previously had access to. Their goal is to give everyone the chance to see the world from space and realize how fragile and precious it is. Space changes a manAnd so does Everest.

If VR experiences like Capturing Everest continue to find traction, we may not need to suit up and blast off—we can explore the world from our living rooms. If you want to get a taste of what Everest is like before you buy it on the Apple App Store or Google Play, you can watch each of the videos online here (and even rotate the view by clicking and dragging). It's awesome.
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