Altair VR: A Brief Introduction

Well, this is certainly different! Altair VR bills itself “the first VR platform for world discovery built on blockchain technology”:

Altair VR 4 July 2018.png

What the company behind Altair VR is trying to build is a next-generation, VR-based Wikipedia, which I think is a fascinating concept!

We have been working in the field of additional education for over 7 years. During this time, we managed to build the largest network of mobile planetariums in Russia and the CIS, thereby introducing more than 500,000 children to astronomy.

We wanted to improve the quality of our planetariums as well as find ways to make them globally accessible. We found a solution in Virtual Reality technology.

Earlier this year, we launched the Amazing Cinema application. In just six months, over 300.000 people downloaded the app and in April we launched the Virtual Planetarium franchise, which already works in 18 cities.

The next stage is the creation of a platform that will allow to virtually discover the world through teaching and interactive games – a type of Virtual Encyclopedia for natural sciences including, but not limited to chemistry, physics, biology, geography, and history.

We have created a VR encyclopedia in which anyone can create their own content and share their interpretation of knowledge. Content on the site will be generated according to the users’ preferences and selected through a voting process.

Here’s a YouTube promotional trailer for Altair VR:

They plan to launch their platform sometime in late 2018. What I don’t really understand, though, is why they decided to use blockchain technology for this particular project. They give three reasons why on their website:

  • Decentralized storage of data on the blockchain is the key to maintaining the system’s independence and stability
  • The community manages the content created through transparent voting
  • All payments on the platform are completely transparent and commissions are low. Furthermore, we maintain full control of copyrights and content royalties

This still sounds somewhat like blockchain as a solution looking for a problem, if you ask me. But if you are as intrigued by this project as I am, there is more information in their whitepaper. Here’s an excerpt:

From atoms to the edge of the universe

The first axis, the zoom axis, can be depicted as an axis going from the microcosm to the known edge of the universe. Each level, the «floor» – is an open world where the user can navigate in the virtual space, and visit the VR experiences placed there.

Example: at the «Microbes» level, the user can visit the world of microbes and go through various portals leading to VR applications and microorganisms, learn something fun and new, then go back one step, or move to another level.

Time Machine in VR

The next axis is the time scale. Suppose, while the user is at the level of Earth, the user can “fly” in the era of dinosaurs, see their life up to the smallest detail, and then go to battles in the Middle Ages and take part in them, or stroll through the famous castles, witnessing ancient legends. Of course, you can also get into the numerous versions of the world of the future: there are no restrictions.

The concept of “the time machine” in VR is an infinite space for creativity and creation of VR experiences, becoming a vividly fundamental textbook of history. History is interpreted from different points of view in different countries. We solved this question by giving the opportunity to study the same events from different points of view. We propose collecting dozens of view points on different historical events in one place, making the event as clear as possible. Many countries have implemented internet censorship and block websites that disseminate objectionable points of view.

Censorship might include persecution of authors, site owners, and hosting sites, where problematic materials and resources are located. There is a solution: blockchain technology. Blockchain technology stores data in a decentralized manner. Using blockchain, we do not use a single server that falls under the jurisdiction of a particular country. This is one of the important blockchain applications in our project.

You can follow the development of the Altair VR platform on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Note: While interesting, as far as I can tell from their website, this is not a social VR app, so I am not including Altair VR on my social VR apps and virtual worlds list.

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