Superblog

Enjoy Roskilde Festival, One of Europe's Wildest Parties, in 360˚

©Wasim Muklashy

©Wasim Muklashy

Roskilde Festival is Scandinavia's WILDEST party, and it's happening for the 45th time beginning June 24. If you're headed out to Denmark, or just curious what the experience is like, this one's for you. Come along for the ride as we explore one of the world's largest music festivals in 360 degrees!

If you've got a Gear VR headset and want to check out the shenanigans we found ourselves caught up in at last year's festival, jump in via SamsungVR. If you'd rather watch in your browser, or if you have a Google Cardboard enjoy via YouTube

Be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with what we're up to.

Dive Doug Aitken's 'Underwater Pavilions' in 360 Degrees!

By Skye Mayring

The ocean is the most important ecosystem on our planet, and Doug Aitken isn't about to let us forget that. The internationally renowned contemporary artist has created "Underwater Pavilions," a traveling exhibit that you can only see by diving or snorkeling. The exhibit consists of three swim-in, swim-out sculptures that utilize a mix of rugged and reflective materials. Part of each pavilion is mirrored, surrounding divers with a kaleidoscopic seascape.

Produced by Parley for the Oceans and presented in partnership with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the work acts as a lens through which to view, experience and interact with the ocean terrain. The artist hopes to raise awareness about the fragility of the oceans while celebrating its beauty.  

The exhibit debuted off the coast of Catalina Island—the first of several tropical locations where 'Underwater Pavilions' will anchor. We made a day of it and took the Catalina Express from San Pedro and back (approximately $35 each way). Access to the installations is free and open to the public, but you'll need to be a strong swimmer with the right gear (scuba or snorkel) in order to fully appreciate it.

When we travel we need to be aware of our impact on the environment and how every action has a reaction. Swimming through the pavilions makes you feel connected to the ocean—it’s is a living, breathing thing. 

Each person who visits is guaranteed to have a different experience: The algae is constantly evolving, the currents and the tides are constantly changing, and that all plays a part in the depth and positioning of the installations. You can find out if "Underwater Pavilions" is coming to an ocean near you here. In the meantime, dive through the installation with us off the coast of Catalina Island. It's pretty unreal!

Note: This is an immersive 360-degree experience. For better results, view in a Google Cardboard using the YouTube app on your mobile device or desktop browser. For the best experience, please visit us on Samsung VR in your Gear VR headset.

The pre-production, field production and post-production of our "Underwater Pavilions" shoot were a collaborative effort. The project was made possible by superswell VR, Radiant Images, Virtuality Lab, Diving Catalina, Catalina Express and Catalina Island Company. Special thanks to Eve Cohen, Jimmie Rhee, Breanna Wilson, Gerardo Lechuga, MOCA Los Angeles and the Doug Aitken Workshop.

Drifting the Day Away With Under-the-Radar Adventures LA

Drifting basics: be sure to scream a lot. Image courtesy of Wasim Muklashly.

Drifting basics: be sure to scream a lot. Image courtesy of Wasim Muklashly.

By Skye Mayring

At superswell VR, we're always trying out new things. In an effort to keep it fresh, we're debuting a new 360-degree video series called Under-the-Radar Adventures hosted by Breanna Wilson and me (aka Joan Jetsetter). The series susses out the lesser-known, knock-your-socks-off experiences in cities across the globe in immersive, 360 degrees. Viewers feel like they are along for the ride—in the middle of all the action—while discovering completely new attractions in their hometowns. The end goal is to inspire YOU to get off the couch, explore your own city and spread positivity and good vibes.

Our first season focuses on off-the-beaten-track experiences in the greater Los Angeles area. In episode one, we strap on our seatbelts, tighten our helmets and get behind the wheel at Drift 101. Drifting pros Naoki Kobayashi and David Kim think they can teach us how to drift in less than 20 minutes. Lunacy? We think so.

Note: This is an immersive 360 experience. For better results, view in a Google Cardboard using the YouTube app on your mobile device, or in the Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Internet Explorer desktop browser. For the best experience, please visit us on Samsung VR in your Gear VR headset.

More Underwater VR Goodness - Doug Aitken's Underwater Pavilions

photo ©skye mayring

photo ©skye mayring

By Wasim Muklashy

Well that was something! And a crazy fun something at that! Last week, the Superswell® VR team braved the Pacific Ocean's winter waters to capture a cutting-edge underwater sculpture exhibit in 360˚ VR video.

photo ©eve cohen

photo ©eve cohen

Superswell® VR's own Joan Jetsetter and Wasim Muklashy joined forces with Radiant Images, Diving Catalina, Catalina Express, Santa Catalina Island Company, travel influencer Breanna J Wilson and cinematographer Eve Cohen to capture Doug Aitken's brand-new installation, "Underwater Pavilions." The geometric swim-in, swim out exhibit was created with the help of MOCA Los Angeles and ocean conservation group Parley for the Oceans. Visitors can strap on their dive gear and discover the three temporary structures—which were created to raise awareness about the fragility of the oceans—in the City of Avalon Dive Park.

We're working hard to ensure you get to experience "Underwater Pavilions" in virtual reality as soon as possible. Check back here often, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the (superswell®) loop!

360˚ Video Journalism At Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

By Wasim Muklashy

As a co-founder of Superswell® VR and producer of virtual reality and 360˚ video, I’m am completely and continually fascinated by the various applications of how this technology can be used. While we’ve been using this for a lot of travel content, I was recently asked by AJ+, a very popular millennial news source, if I had any interest in heading out to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to cover the Dakota Access Pipeline situations. 

360˚ video for journalism? I couldn't refuse.

If you’re not familiar with what's happening at Standing Rock, just Google “NoDAPL” or “Dakota Access” or “Standing Rock.” There’s no shortage of information. 

In a nutshell, a pipeline that is set to carry oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota through four states to Illinois is meeting resistance at a crucial juncture where it is set to cross the Missouri River. The pipeline was originally routed to cross the Missouri River about 35 miles north near Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, but, and this part is crucial to note, residents feared it could threaten their water, so it got re-routed here … in Cannonball, North Dakota, on disputed Native American land less than a half mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where it immediately threatens not only the water supply of the Lakota Indians on this reservation, but also up to 17 million American residents downstream.

Additionally, the route of the pipeline has already destroyed sacred Native American sites and burial grounds, and is currently routed to destroy even more. 

Anyhow, the story has been gaining more and more international attention, and this experienced ended up being one of the most profound of my life. 

Click here to read the whole story, "My Stand At Standing Rock - Guns & Oil Have Driven Us Apart, Perhaps Water Is Bringing Us Back Together."

Denmark's Finest Spa Hotel?

A live pianist plays the hotel lobby every Sunday afternoon. Image courtesy of Kurhotel Skodsborg.

A live pianist plays the hotel lobby every Sunday afternoon. Image courtesy of Kurhotel Skodsborg.

By Skye Mayring

Kurhotel Skodsborg is the Danish Rivera’s premiere health and wellness retreat, with a history that spans centuries. 

King Frederic VII of Denmark acquired the Skodsborg county estate in the mid-1800s to summer here with his wife, and vestiges of the past add both character and a sense of place to the property. The King’s Hall—where state meetings and banquets were held—has been painstakingly restored according to the estate’s original drawings, so it looks just as it did in the 19th century. You can spot the king's seal and a bust of the king himself if you look closely. 

In addition to its ties to Danish royalty, Kurhotel Skodsborg is known for its state-of-the-art spa facilities, designed by Henning Larsen Architects. The minimalist design is based on principles of a healthy life: light, water, air, nutrition, exercise and rest. 

Join Superswell® VR on this property tour as we see Kurhotel Skodsborg's spacious guestrooms, spa, rooftop terrace and other elegant spaces in 360 degrees.

Note: This is an immersive 360 experience. For better results, view in a Google Cardboard using the YouTube app on your mobile device, or in the Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Internet Explorer desktop browser. For the best experience, please visit us on Samsung VR in your Gear VR headset.

Ancient Sites of Huahine, Tahiti, in VR / 360 video

By Skye Mayring

Huahine may not be a household name like Bora Bora or Tahiti—that’s because this sleepy island in the South Pacific is one of Polynesia’s best-kept secrets. Formally home to Polynesian royalty, Huahine has the highest concentration of  pre-European marae (sacred meeting places) in all of Polynesia. 

See the ancient marae and learn about the ceremonies preformed here, visit the scenic shores where the Europeans first landed and find out where religion started on this island. Your local guide Manava with Island Eco Tours will share the culture of his ancestors with you, from tales of battles and human sacrifice to the folkloric birth of Huahine. 

Note: This is an immersive 3D virtual reality experience. For better results, view in a Google Cardboard using the YouTube app on your mobile device, or in the Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Internet Explorer desktop browser. For the best experience, please visit us on Samsung VR in your Gear VR headset.

 

Swim With Bora Bora's Reef Sharks and Sting Rays in VR

By Skye Mayring

Bora Bora’s lagoon has enchanted visitors for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. An ideal way to experience its legendary turquoise waters is with a full- or half-day snorkel safari with Lagoon Service. During the first part of the excursion, you'll find yourself snorkeling around coral gardens, teeming with tropical fish and getting an up-close look at endemic stingrays and even black-tip reef sharks. Don’t worry, they’re friendly. 

After snorkeling the morning away, your guide takes you to a private motu, or small island. Then it’s time for a lunch of Tahitian specialties, such as fresh poisson cru—the national dish of the Islands of Tahiti. This Polynesian dish is made with fresh coconut milk, raw fish, vegetables and fresh-squeezed lime. Watch as your guide shows you how to expertly prepare this meal at the water’s edge, and don’t forget to look down to see tiny fish swimming at your feet.

Note: This is an immersive 3D virtual reality experience. For better results, view in a Google Cardboard using the YouTube app on your mobile device, or in the Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Internet Explorer desktop browser. For the best experience, please visit us on Samsung VR in your Gear VR headset.

Bora Bora's Iconic Overwater Bungalows in 360°

By Skye Mayring

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the overwater bungalow with superswell VR's 360° video tour of the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa

What image comes to mind when you think of Bora Bora? Chances are it’s the overwater bungalow—French Polynesia’s signature accommodations that just happen to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Unlike a typical hotel room, the thatched-roof overwater bungalows of Bora Bora sit above turquoise lagoon waters. Each bungalow offers a glass-bottom feature, so you can actually spot tropical fish swimming beneath your feet. In this VR video, see the overwater bungalows of the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa and other highlights of the resort including a canoe breakfast, beach activities and a killer sunset.

Note: This is an immersive 3D virtual reality experience. For better results, view in a Google Cardboard using the YouTube app on your mobile device, or in the Firefox, Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer desktop browser. For the best experience, please visit us on Samsung VR in your Gear VR headset.

Virtual Reality—Behind the Scenes

Image courtesy of Gregoire Le Bacon and Tahiti Toursime

Image courtesy of Gregoire Le Bacon and Tahiti Toursime

By Skye Mayring

It’s hard to imagine a destination that could look better in virtual reality than the islands of Tahiti, from its coral gardens and overwater bungalows to its epic purple sunsets. Naturally, when superswell VR was given a prototype of the world’s first true 3­-D omniview camera, we grabbed our swimsuits and headed straight to the island paradise of French Polynesia. 

But shooting with a prototype camera in unpredictable conditions wasn't without its challenges (i.e. "dude, this sh*t is hard").

So what happens when you expose a prototype VR camera to extreme heat, high humidity, salt water, aggressive wind and sharks? Watch the video below to find out.

13 Things We Learned While Shooting Virtual Reality

By Wasim Muklashy

A couple of months ago, we found ourselves in the fortunate situation of shooting virtual reality footage with a prototype VR camera...in Tahiti. Needless to say, that was an insane experience that I will never ever forget. If you want to read about that experience, check out this post, but here, we're going to lay out a few things we learned about shooting virtual reality, because, believe you we, it's nothing like shooting regular video...

[click here to read the full post]

Project Beyond My Expectations - Shooting Virtual Reality In Tahiti!

By Wasim Muklashy

So this is a project I've had to keep under wraps for almost a half year now, and it's been hot darn damn difficult! I recently found myself shooting virtual reality (VR) footage for a week in March with a prototype high end VR camera system. The idea was to gather footage to demonstrate the system's capabilities at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) in San Francisco at the end of last month, as well as Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference (SVVR) in Palo Alto that same week.

That alone was exciting enough. 

But...

[click here to read the full post]