While it’s many a passionate reefer’s dream to experience the biodiverse splendor of a coral reef in the flesh, this isn’t always logistically or financially feasible. Maybe you have a crippling fear of what lurks below the surface in the open ocean, or you’d like to save yourself the embarrassment of exposing your less than stellar swimming skills to your dive buddy. Whatever the reasoning, there could be an interesting alternative in the near future if you’re willing to use your imagination a bit.
The Nautilus VR is not unlike the Samsung Gear or Google Cardboard, a headset mount utilizing your smartphone to create a virtual reality experience. However, if you plunge into a body of water with either of the latter, you’ll most certainly be buying a new phone. That’s where Nautilus differs a bit – it’s a completely submersible headset with a waterproof case (compatible with all smartphones with screens from 4.7-5.2”) with a built-in snorkel and mask. When used in conjunction with the Nautilus Platform app, you’re able to select from various underwater habitats, such as the Great Barrier Reef or the lost city of Atlantis to immerse yourself within as you splosh around in the safety of a pool.
It goes without saying there’s no substitution for the real deal, but perhaps a more notable application for the device is education and promoting environmental awareness, which is where the innovators behind Nautilus are focusing a lot of their efforts in the design. For seasoned divers whom hope their kin will someday join them and share their passion, this may also be a great way to safely (under HEAVY supervision, but that goes without saying) introduce them to the wonders that lie below.
“We will bring the mysteries of underwater worlds to children, we want them to learn how to respect and protect the fragile marine ecosystems. They will be able to find detailed information on species and their natural habitat”
Remotte, the California-based company behind Nautilus VR, initially had launched a Kickstarter fund for the project, offering the headset for pre-order at $69 but has since put it on hold due to a potential delivery delay from the manufacturers. Before you get too bummed out, Remotte has every intention of relaunching their campaign as soon as they have a reliable delivery date for crowdfunders.