Virtual Reality Gives You Animal Vision

My, what big eyes you have
Dragonfly Eyes
Cecil Sanders/Flickr CC by 2.0

Ever wonder what life would look like if you were literally a fly on the wall? Or, better yet, a dragonfly in the forest? Actually seeing the world through another’s eyes is still very much science fiction, but thanks to advances in virtual reality, you can come close.

At the Abandon Normal Devices festival in Grizedale Forest last month, visitors were invited to put on Oculus Rift virtual reality helmets and backpacks, and experience a 360-degree view of the forest, as seen by dragonflies, frogs, and other local creatures. The helmets let participants see an imagined perspective of what the animals see, while vibrations from the backpack immersed them further in the experience.

A creative collective called Marshmallow Laser Feast put the project together. While they weren’t able to precisely recreate the vision of animals (dragonflies see more colors than humans can, something that even the highest-tech VR can’t fix) they could give an impression of what the world looks like through the eyes of other species.

To get the basis for their footage, the team used drones and special 360-degree cameras to capture footage. They also recorded the sounds of the forest, incorporating them into the final product.

The inaugural exhibit in has ended, but the project’s organizers plan on having another exhibition in Hamsterly Forest in the UK next May, and will be announcing tour dates to other locations in Europe soon. In the meantime, watch the teaser for the project here: