Thursday, December 24, 2015

HoloLens ocean discovery app: past, present & future

From Microsoft by Phil Pauley

The Ocean Discovery App is a unique educational experience that would make the deepest ocean accessible to everyone with access to a HoloLens kit.

The Ocean

The ocean is the lifeblood of our planet, yet most people have a limited understanding of its importance to us.
Despite covering nearly three-quarters of Earth’s surface, 95% of the ocean is unexplored.
We know of around 230,000 marine species, but it’s estimated that there are over 2 million down there, waiting to be discovered!
The ocean is what makes Earth so unique within our solar system, yet we know more about the surfaces of the Moon and Mars than we do about our ocean and the marine life therein.

The Experience

In a classroom setting or at home, for example, the HoloLens Ocean Discovery app would create a three-dimensional holographic cut-away model of an area of ocean, stretching from surface to seafloor.
By zooming in and out of this hologram, people could visualize the ocean in unprecedented detail.
Learners could adjust different aspects of the model—for example, zoom into different ocean depth zones—and interact with rarely seen marine life right before their eyes.
A series of responsive visual sequences could show the viewer how the geology and biology of the ocean interact with the ebb and flow of tides and currents.

Additional, fun and immersive experiences could include a wall transforming into a virtual theater, with holograms of marine creatures emerging from it and swimming towards the viewer.
Users of the app could become divers, combing sunken shipwrecks for hidden treasure, or could experience exploring the intricacy of a coral reef ecosystem.
These types of interactions could be invaluable to aquariums and marine centres.

Immersive experiences within the app would cover topics such as ancient marine life, undersea exploration, marine biology, geology, seismic monitoring for tsunami risk, the tracking of weather patterns and hurricanes, the impact of climate change and acidification on coral reefs, marine archaeology, fisheries, renewable energies and much more.
New topics could be added into the app over time and in response to demand.

Potential Partners

In an effort to communicate the impact of emerging technologies, the Ocean Discovery HoloLens app could feature subsea ocean exploration, marine renewable energy innovations and high-resolution seabed mapping that will be developed over the next decade.

Alongside the home and educational version of the app, a professional version could be developed for use within international organizations that work at sea, or have commercial interests in the ocean. Various training programmes could help prepare qualified specialists in a variety of fields (academic, industrial, scientific and military) to successfully decrease environmental damage to the ocean whilst maximizing its positive impacts.

A preliminary Ocean Induction course could cover a basic introduction to geology and biodiversity, with input from satellite observation data and include the importance of the ocean in Earth’s natural cycles, such as the role it plays in regulating the atmosphere and weather patterns.

Why Now?

Although there is some movement to recognise the importance of the ocean, more needs to be done.
As a source of global economic growth; commerce, food, medicine, energy, and as a carbon sink and regulator of climate change, we must share and increase our knowledge.
The Ocean Discovery HoloLens app could tie in with any number of marine organizations and forthcoming initiative on ocean governance.

More attention will be given to the ocean following the historic Paris agreement, the final document of which noted:
“the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity…”

If you appreciate the Ocean and the biodiversity it supports, please vote for this idea now by clicking the star icon !

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