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Become a Digital Vagabond With Atlas Obscura VR Experience

The multiplatform travel brand comes to VR with a new exploratory app.

If you’re looking for more information on the world’s most bizarre and off the beat locations, there’s no better source than Atlas Obscura. Whether it be their website or best-selling book, the popular travel guide has served as an integral tool for travelers looking for their next unusual adventure.

The truly interesting part of Atlas Obscura however is that the user-created platform is actually just as explorative with new forms of media as it is with the locations they cover. So it comes as no surprise that they’ve finally made their way to VR with a brand new app for the Samsung Gear VR.

Developed in partnership with Sydney-based cinematic VR studio Start VR, Atlas Obscura VR is an interactive VR experience for the Gear VR that combines the extensive content of Atlas Obscura with the immersive capabilities of VR to bring the Earth’s oddest places right into the living room. After having Start VR’s creative team personally travel to each location to capture high quality 360° stereoscopic footage and imagery, the company collected 45 minutes of breathtaking content broken into 15 minute episodes for the apps launch.

The videos also feature holographic hosts of Atlas co-founder Dylan Thuras and Senior Editor Ella Morton explaining the back story of each location, providing historical information and the unique factors of each episodic installment. At the center of the experience is the mysterious and powerful “Atlasphere” machine, which users can use to teleport to various exotic locations as well as access new episodes, articles and additional immersive content.

“Many VR nonfiction apps, especially in travel, approach the VR medium by simply dragging the viewer along, or plopping them down somewhere with no ability to explore, but that’s not the true experience of travel!” said Atlas Co-founder Dylan Thuras. “With Atlas Obscura VR, we wanted to capture the experience of exploring a fascinating location and not knowing what’s around the corner.”

Adds Thuras, “We wanted to push what the VR nonfiction experience could be, both by choosing the most unusual, incredible locations possible and by using a mix of photogrammetry, high-resolution stereo imagery and documentary all set within an environment where the explorer gets to decide where to go and what to do next.”

Download the application now to gain access to the first season of content. The Temples of Humankind: Damanhur episode will be free to download, whereas the following two installments will be available for purchase. This next month will also see the release of 30 unlockable virtual arcades as well as an additional 20 to 30 new locales.

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