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Explore the Night Sky in VR with “Stars” for HTC Vive

Nick Rasmussen

Founder & Editorial Manager at VR Today Magazine
Nick is the founder and editorial manager at VR Today Magazine. After several years working as a new-media specialist at the global tech-giant marketplace Envato, Nick founded VR Today Magazine with the vision of popularizing and reporting on virtual reality and immersive technology.
Nick Rasmussen

On your journey through life, have you ever just hit “pause” to lie down at night, outside, or from the comfort of your bed, staring into the vastness of space, trying to make sense of it all?

It’s huge, isn’t it? The challenge with stargazing though, lies in that it’s only accessible on a clear night, after dark. Unless you count a key to a local planetarium as part of your toolbox at home, you will have to resort to either the digital experience, or as of today – Virtual Reality to take a peek at outer space with that same feeling of wonder.

 

For millennia, our facination and knowledge of the sky has advanced and pushed us forward as a civilization. In fact, without space exploration we wouldn’t have either Cell Phone Cameras or Clean Energy Technology to name a few. The famous astrophysicist of the Hayden Planetarium said it best when he uttered the words:

“Space exploration is a force of nature unto itself that no other force in society can rival”
– Neil Degrasse Tyson

 

The VR Experience

Today, on July 20, 2016 – an app dubbed “Stars” surfaced on Steam. It’s important to mention off the bat that the app is built specifically for the HTC Vive. Whether or not it will support Oculus or competitive headsets in the future, remains to be seen.

Back to the experience. “Stars” lets us gaze behind the carpet of clouds into deep space, and in doing so, learn about the many planets, solar systems and constellations that decorates our night sky.

The game is not fully complete, so the early access version currently available may have some flaws. The full version will be available in late 2016 or early 2017.

While you will not be able to fight droids with light sabers, dock on strange planets or participate in a high-speed space fights, it does make the educational part of space exploration, much more attractive. Making education more appealing with the help of immersive technology is something we have reported on before, but to date, this does seem to be one of the most detailed pieces of work.

By giving you access to a beautiful rendition of space, you can browse your way through the Milky Way, learning a little something on every step along the way.

The app is built by a team of developers called “MatrixStudio”. There are competitors to the experience out there (assuming they are not already behind it) who are also working hard on merging the forces of Virtual Reality with the demand in interactive education. Have a look at some of them here:

Features

  • Peaceful and relaxed game experience, VR will make the experience fantastic. Just sit down and relax, enjoy the beautiful stars.
  • Dynamic connections, vivid images and wonderful stories of all the 88 constellations
  • 6000 stars which are based on real data, you will learn a lot about the universe, constellation etc.

Minimum Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290

What’s Next?

If you would like to learn more about “Stars” you can head right over to the experience’s Steam profile and take the app for a spin.

Written by Nick Rasmussen

Nick is the founder and editorial manager at VR Today Magazine. After several years working as a new-media specialist at the global tech-giant marketplace Envato, Nick founded VR Today Magazine with the vision of popularizing and reporting on virtual reality and immersive technology.

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