If you're not willing to strap into a hand glider or jump out of a plane, there's no easy way to experience life-like flight – until now. An Adelaide-based company called Aerometrex has used comprehensive maps of Australia along with detailed 3D models to create a simulation of the real world.
When users look around, they're able to see cars, construction sites, tress and buildings rendered in stunning detail. The company has now taken this further, placing the world inside an Oculus Rift.
How it works
To capture the amazing imagery, the company uses UAVs to fly over a city with sophisticated cameras. Thousands of high resolution images are taken with geospatial data. When the pictures are combined with 3D depth-sensing technologies, accurate real-world models can be produced of an entire cityscape.
By using powerful computers, the data is combined so that a user can study an area in detail.
Integrating with the Rift
Recently, the company released a video of the technology working in the Oculus Rift, in which a man is able to take a birds-eye view of Townsville, Australia.
While the applications of the technology may appear to be limited at first, there's actually many possible uses. For example, city planners or architects may use the flyover perspective to gain a better idea of how a new building will impact a skyline, or the possible routes a new motorway onramp could take.
One day, it may even be possible to feed in other types of data such as live weather.
This would only appear to be the beginning stages of the technology, and development of more advanced mapping and headsets will no doubt increase the possible applications over the next few years.