While virtual reality made its mainstream debut in 2016, it is 2017 that will be remembered as the year in which VR really began to make its mark.
Numerous industries are now exploring how virtual reality technology can benefit them, and thanks to that we’re seeing new types of VR tech and different uses for it.
One such use that could really open up a world of discovery in the future is VR tech for exploration, and specifically the new Everest VR software.
Everest VR is a new virtual reality experience for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets.
It allows users to participate in an expedition to the top of the world’s tallest mountain, all from the safety of their own home.
Designed to showcase what virtual reality can achieve, Everest VR comes from Iceland-based Solfar Studios and visual effects company RVX.
It uses the powerful Unreal Engine game engine to recreate five iconic scenes from the Mount Everest climb, including Basecamp, the Khumbu Icefalls, Camp 4, Hillary Step and finally, the summit of Everest.
Users can choose from 18 of the most well-known climb routes to ascend the mountain, complete with different methods and strategies for completing the climb.
Everest VR features realistic gameplay and allows users to navigate as they climb, using ropes and ice axes to steady themselves just like climbers would in the real world.
It also includes photographic material from Edmund Hilllary and Tenzing Norgay’s successful expedition to the summit in 1953, the first in history to do so, with photographs from the journey placed at the points along the mountain where they were taken.
Critic reviews of Everest VR has so far been notably positive; those who have ‘played’ the software have said the level of realism is unprecedented, resulting in a VR experience that is remarkably close to the real thing.
Everest VR is out now for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Check out the gameplay video from Polygon below.