VR: Mawson’s Huts

Recent research using the Unity Game Engine for Antarctic visualisation:

This is a Virtual Tour of Mawson’s Hut at Cape Denison (v0.5), arising from some recent research at WASP (UWA) by Peter Morse and Paul Bourke. It is very much a beta release – so it’s work in progress. Quite a few things have been fixed up but be careful – you can still get stuck at a few points and will need to refresh your browser or quit in order to escape being stuck. Hey, it’s a Beta, so you explore at your own risk.

The Mawson’s Huts Virtual Tour Demo is now about 36MB download, so you need to have a decent broadband connection and a recent computer with a decent graphics card to play it.

If you don’t have the Unity player plugin for your browser you will be prompted to install it (~12MB download): hopefully it’s obvious what you need to do…don’t ask here, because you will get no reply.

How to Explore:
1] Look around using the mouse – walk into a “bubble” and look around!
2] Move forward and back using the “w” or “s” keys on your keyboard (or the arrow keys).
3] Jump up and down using the Space Bar (you’ll need this to get back into the Hut).
4] Make sure your speakers are on – audio makes a difference.

Yes I have fast broadband connection: Click Here to Play!

Feedback is welcome.
My impression is that this an extremely effective way of imparting spatial information to participants – where things are, how they look, and, prospectively, analytical (GIS) and forensic data (archaeological/conservation information.) There are many possibilities.

I imagine Frank Hurley would have thought this was pretty cool – after all, he took dozens of stereo photos, so he was really trying to capture “presence” – something that transcends the time between now and then. For different, utilitarian reasons, perhaps Mawson would have too.