Marine Imaging Technologies (MITech) has revealed HYDRUS VR – the new 8K underwater cinematic virtual reality system.
Created to push the envelope of underwater VR for the next generation of storytellers, HYDRUS VR incorporates the newest version of the SONY low-light camera, the UMC-S3CA, and custom SLR Magic E-Mount lenses to provide dynamic range and clarity.
While virtual reality as a storytelling method is on the verge of becoming mainstream, MITech’s HYDRUS VR was designed to offer that same experience in an underwater environment, both for the audience and the storyteller.
“Cinematic VR is the next step in a continually evolving artistic struggle to not just show people unique underwater landscapes and the stories within them, but to also immerse and transport them in a way that captures their imaginations and senses on all levels,” says Evan Kovacs, founder of MITech. “As passionate fans of cinema, we couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that HYDRUS VR holds for creating immersive stories about and all aspects of our underwater world.”
HYDRUS VR was over two years in the making. Conceived and designed in 2016, the prototype was built in the Cape Cod facilities in 2017.
After discussions with SONY, the camera array was redesigned to facilitate the soon to be released SONY UMC S3CA. By March of 2018, production partner Digital Quilt was stitching test footage of reefs off the Cayman Island and HYDRUS VR has just returned from the Isle Royale in the Great Lakes.
According to the company, HYDRUS VR was designed to be simple and intuitive, allowing the storyteller to focus on the subject and the story. It can be diver operated, but with a depth rating of 300m, it can be incorporated onto underwater robots as well.
“We are very excited to help tell interesting stories and work with our partners to create an unforgettable experience, an experience that will make audiences feel inspired to cherish, save and protect — and even one day visit — these underwater environments,” says Kovacs.