Startups
Events / VR

Get on the water at Artscape with the National Aquarium’s virtual reality tour

At the corner of Mt. Royal and Dolphin, a VR experience provides a glimpse of what a cleaner harbor could look like.

The National Aquarium is using virtual reality to go down by the water. (Photo by Flickr user John Menard, used under a Creative Commons license)

The National Aquarium is bringing the harbor views to Artscape.

Near the corner of Dolphin St. and right next to the giant octopus made of repurposed plastic (created by artist Kasey Jones), the Inner Harbor institution is letting attendees of this weekend’s free arts festival hop in a kayak and view some harbor life. Paddling is optional.
The excursion is offered through a virtual reality experience, in which participants are guided around the National Aquarium’s floating wetlands. Located on the waterfront, the artificial islands are designed to attract native species. Since being installed last year, the wetlands are starting to see ghost sea anemones, ducks and other species, said National Aquarium Director of Content Strategy Nabila Chami. The aquarium has plans to expand the wetlands between Piers 3 and 4.
To bring viewers down by the water, the aquarium partnered with Mosaic Learning to create a virtual reality experience. Sean Mauney, the Columbia-based firm’s multimedia interactive, got out on the water and filmed the wetlands by boat. Under the tent at Artscape, viewers climb into a kayak, strap on an Oculus Go and are handed a paddle (for effect). While taking a jaunt around the Aquarium on the water, the experience also offers information on the species that are gathering around the wetlands.
“They’ve always been right below the surface,” Mauney said.
Along with offering a serene escape from the festival bustle, the idea is to provide a glimpse of what the notoriously polluted harbor could could look like – and attract – if cleanup progress continues. It fits with the Aquarium’s wider push at Artscape, called Sea Change, which encourages folks to get involved in protecting and building the ecosystem.
Artscape runs July 20-22.

This reporter tried out the kayak immersion. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

This reporter tried out the kayak immersion. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Companies: The National Aquarium

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!

Trending

Inside Maryland’s latest effort to support emerging businesses

A Baltimore entrepreneur’s new platform aims to topple tech silos

As a returning citizen, she experienced tech overload. Now she’s fighting to end the digital divide

This Week in Jobs: The kernel of a new career is in these 20 tech opportunities

Technically Media