Since its beginnings, La Dolphin Connection has developed different types of actions (demonstrations, public information campaigns, stands at events…). But it also has in mind to diversify its approaches (competitions, cyberactions, international partnerships, support, etc.). For two years, our association has been working discreetly on a new and totally new project, La Dolphin Connection VR, which is now officially launched in its first version.
An alternative to captivity and direct observation
It is one thing to oppose the captivity of our dolphin friends, but it is just as well to be able to propose ethical alternatives: this allows us to move things forward in the right direction!
But why do we want to act in France when dolphinariums are condemned to close within a few years? First of all, because these places remain in the long term a misery for cetaceans. Then, because for different reasons, not everyone could go to observe dolphins in the open sea.
The software: La Dolphin Connection VR
The spectator, equipped with a virtual reality helmet and wireless controllers, will be able to dive into the heart of an ocean (as realistic as possible). Without getting wet, he will observe dolphins evolving at the level of a coral reef. But dolphins will not be alone because there will also be exotic fish, sharks, rays (including a manta ray), turtles … in short, a real marine ecosystem!
Other cetaceans will soon be visible in different virtual locations: whales, belugas…
The first public display
It will take place these days, within the framework of the animations “virtual workshops” at the library of Merville* on Wednesday June 8, 29 and Saturday June 11 2022 at 3:00 pm. The animation will be totally free but a prior reservation will be required to ensure an available time slot.
The evolution of La Dolphin Connection VR software
To conceive and realize such a project requires a lot of resources. It also requires time and substantial materials.
Nevertheless, the project has been developed in a spirit close to Open Source (with some restrictions however). This will allow it to evolve over time and why not to present it elsewhere in the world.
Already, new places have come forward to offer the virtual experience to the public. We will keep you informed of the progress of this project, which has a definite advantage: it can be constantly improved as time goes by and as technology evolves. This will make the software more and more realistic. It won’t be the reality but we will get very close to it!
An evolving Virtual Ocean
The number of marine animals will continue to increase, but also the number of different cetaceans. Also, the number of places to explore will evolve. In terms of surface, it will be a real ocean but… virtual!
This kind of software also has another advantage: the marine animals can behave like free and non-captive animals. At a time when virtual worlds and especially the Metaverse are regularly mentioned, many people wonder about their real usefulness, about the possible drifts… So we might as well use new technologies for a good cause.
Here is a video giving a brief preview of the software:
*This library is located in the Espace Culturel Robert Hossein, in the North of France.