Mixed Reality Stargazing Demo Skygaze Out Now On Quest
Turn your home into the ultimate stargazing lounge.
Available now on the Meta Quest, Skygaze (Demo) is a prototype VR experience that turns your headset into a mixed reality stargazing lounge. You can explore the solar system and search for constellations, learn more about our system’s planets, or catch a show at the virtual planetarium, all from the comfort of your living room.
The app is simple, but nonetheless captivating thanks to its unique use of Meta’s Passthrough API. You begin by identifying the walls of your real-world home using your Touch controllers. Once you’ve finished setting up, the ceiling of your home will begin to retract, revealing a crystal-clear night sky littered with stars, planets, and constellations, each of which features accurate positioning based on your geographical position and local time of day. There’s even the option to lower your walls, allowing you to view even more of the night sky.
According to developer Emanuel Tomozei, Skygaze is still in active development; what’s available now is just a sample of what’s to come at launch. That said the current version of the app still offers plenty to do. You can search for and identify various stars, constellations, and planets. There’s also a separate planetarium space where you can watch a 360-degree film about our solar system. It’s a pretty surreal feeling, watching city-sized asteroids pass overhead as you relax at home.
Skygaze is available now as a free demo on the Meta Quest via the App Lab. Based on the trailer, it appears as though we can expect a virtual telescope mode in the future, which should add additional stargazing opportunities. I’m also hoping the app eventually makes its way to Project Cambria, Meta’s work-focused mixed reality device with high-resolution color passthrough.
“I am hoping to develop it into a full app but it all depends on interest and funding. Any ideas of thoughts on what works, what doesn’t or what could be improved or added would be great to hear!” said Tomozei in a Reddit post.
We first talked about Skygaze last year, back when it was called Stargazer. Tomozei submitted the project to the Facebook XR Hackathon where it won third place in the Mixed Reality track. At the time, he vowed to spend the prize money won in the competition on developing a full-fledged app, and today we saw the first fruits of his labor.
For more information on the Skygaze project visit here.
Image Credit: Emanuel Tomozei