Echo Earth Experience is a virtual reality experience, which simulates how animals use echolocation to navigate, for example marine mammals underwater. In this VR first person swimmer, players take on the role of a baby beluga whale that is immersed in the deep blue Arctic and is learning to use its senses to search for food. The goal is to find and eat as many fish and octopi as possible before time runs out. To do so, invoke your echolocation abilities by making sounds (using a handheld controller) to ideally generate an echo that will help you determine the direction of these food sources. It was made with Unity and originally for Samsung Gear VR. It is also available for Oculus Rift.
EEE was one of 48 total selected projects from all 15 ACC schools for the inaugural ACCelerate Festival held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in October 2017. The festival is a celebration of creative exploration and research happening across the ACC at the nexus of science, engineering, arts and design (SEAD).
- LATE@Frost Science: SEEING 003 – Waves (World Red Eye, August 2017) | Link
- Smithsonian Magazine “These Collegiate Innovators Are at the Vanguard of Technology and Art” article summarizing the 2017 ACCelerate Festival festivities. | Link
“University of Miami, for its part, showed off a child-friendly echolocation simulator called Echo Earth. Young museumgoers donned virtual reality headgear and swam across the ocean depths, their first-person perspective was that of a beluga whale in search of scrumptious octopi and fish. A button on their handsets allowed them to send a piercing ping through the water—if a second ping came back, they knew they were on the right track.” (Smithsonian Magazine, October 2017)
- Game selected and exhibited ACCelerate Creativity & Innovation Festival, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. (October 2017)
- Game demoed with subject matter experts and staff at Oceana Headquarters, Washington, D.C. (October 2017)
- Game exhibited at LATE at Frost Science: SEEING 003, Frost Museum of Science, Miami, FL. (August 2017)