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A walkthrough 3D projection of an entire tropical island

Image credit: Velaa private island

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 02, 2021
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The idea is to project an entire tropical island to a place that won't be seeing summer for a while. Based on Povilas's idea to simulate a walk along the beach, this one takes it a little further.

Why do this?

Winters in the northern hemisphere are long, grey, cold, and harsh. Life is basically on hold until spring arrives. Just like people go to the cinema to immerse themselves in a story for an hour or two, they would go to a simulated tropical island to forget about the winter for a while. They would pay a few bucks for the experience.

How would it work?

Maldivian islands usually have pedestrian paths all over the place. Many are small enough that you can walk around them in 10-23 minutes. If you wanted to replicate the entire island as seen from these pedestrian paths, you would only need to replicate a corridor with the same layout as the original paths.

A cheaper way of doing it would be to create a 360 degrees projection room with an omni-directional treadmill floor. As you walk, the floor moves to keep you centered in the room. The highest quality video is key for this. Projectors should cover everything, including ceiling and floor.

A more elaborate way of doing it is to perfectly replicate the pedestrian paths with container-like coridors and layer them with many, many projectors. As for the video, read on...

I'm not sure about this but maybe the projection room or the coridors might be better with rounded corners and celing so that there are no sharp edges. Might this give a more realisic experience? The software would accomodate for the roundness or projection surfaces.

Multiple cameras, multiple projectors

This will require a recording technique to be invented. It might even exist, I didn't check yet. Here goes:
  • place cameras all over the island so that what each sees slightly overlaps what the next camera sees
  • in the replication coridors place the projectors so that what each projects slightly overlaps what the next one projects
  • create software that records the ENTIRE island from all the cameras at the same time and stitches the overlaps seamlessly
  • create software that projects the ENTIRE island from all projectors at the same time and stitches the overlaps seamslessly. For power saving purposes, coridors where there are no people inside can be turned off until someone gets near.

Live projection 24 hours per day

With the above mentioned setup, an option would be to project the entire island, 24 hours per day in real time.

Smell, sound, humidity, heat

As Povilas says in his idea, all the senses would be replicated as much as our current technologies allow. Real sand would be placed on the floor (not in the threadmill version).

This idea could be repeated all over the northern hemisphere. During summer time, the projection could switch to a stream from some cold location with amazing sights, like the north pole or ice caves.
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