IBC 2016: Harmonic, NASA release 360-degree immersive virtual reality experience
Harmonic and NASA have released a 360-degree immersive virtual reality (VR) viewing experience to the public, featuring exclusive astronaut training footage in UHD. The stunning NASA VR/360 video offers three different perspectives of astronauts as they complete space-walk training for future missions to the International Space Station (ISS). The video is available for viewing on the NASA TV YouTube channel, and will be demonstrated during IBC2016, at Harmonic’s stand 1.B20.
“When NASA Television was created, we knew that we had an incredible opportunity to provide the public with previously unseen footage of space exploration, training processes and live launches,” says Fred Brown, executive producer of NASA Television. “Thanks to technology partners like Harmonic, NASA has been at the forefront of delivering amazing video experiences, including virtual reality and UHD.”
The video for the VR demo was shot at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in Houston. The NBL training facility features a large indoor pool of water, with a life-size replica of the ISS, which is used by astronauts to perform simulated tasks in preparation for upcoming missions. This new NASA VR/360 video, and the NASA TV UHD channel, were created with Harmonic’s market-leading end-to-end UHD video delivery solution. Powered by the Harmonic PURE Compression Engine, it ensures superior video quality, up to 2160p60, at minimum bitrates.
“Bringing together UHD and VR technology with NASA astronaut training footage, we’re offering a truly spectacular experience that elevates immersiveness and viewer engagement to a completely new level,” says Bart Spriester, SVP, video products at Harmonic. “As video consumers look for new and exciting entertainment outlets, Harmonic and its technology partners are innovating with the mission to free viewers from the boundaries dominating traditional television and enjoy a 360-degree, 2160p60 first-of-its-kind video experience.”
VR is one of the innovative technologies Harmonic will highlight during IBC2016 in the company’s stand 1.B20, Sept 9-13 in Amsterdam. Through VR headsets, demo participants at IBC2016 will get an intimate, 360-degree look at the NASA astronauts in action. Harmonic will also be giving away VR headsets through daily drawings at the show.