SPACE WALK -- visiting the solar system through an immersive sonic journey in VR

SPACE WALK -- visiting the solar system through an immersive sonic journey in VR

Abstract

Space Walk is a navigable virtual planetarium designed for the Oculus Quest VR headset. It provides an educational yet accurate representation of the solar system, including visualizations of scientific data such as magnetic field lines and atmospheric phenomena and accompanying explicatory text. A navigational interface allows the visitor to travel between planets. As a complement to the visual content, an ad hoc modular soundtrack has been composed, meant to characterize each celestial object sonically and offer a sonic counterpart for each of their possible data visualization layers. For these reasons, the soundtrack is designed to provide a modular musical system. Each layer could work both in isolation and together with all the other layers, still keeping coherence of the musical discourse. It is also meant to pay tribute to a vast network of literature from Sci-fi film and video game music, remaining appropriate within a rigorous scientific context. Finally, it integrates both stereophonic and immersive sound spatialization techniques.

Publication
Submitted to Nordic SMC 2021

The corresponding Oculus Quest app can be downloaded from https://space.aalto.fi/software/.

Immersive Sonic Journey

Audio only version