CubeSats: A New Era in Space-Based Gaming and Virtual Reality
In recent years, CubeSats have become increasingly popular in the space industry. These small, cube-shaped satellites are typically 10 centimeters on each side and weigh no more than 1.33 kilograms. They are relatively inexpensive to build and launch, making them an attractive option for universities, startups, and even larger companies.
But CubeSats are not just for scientific research or communication purposes. They are also being used for gaming and virtual reality applications, ushering in a new era of space-based entertainment.
One example of CubeSats being used for gaming is the “SpaceBEEs” project by Swarm Technologies. The company launched four CubeSats in 2018, each equipped with a software-defined radio that can transmit data back to Earth. Swarm Technologies plans to use these satellites to create a global network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, but they also allow users to play a game called “SpaceBEEs.”
In this game, players control a virtual bee that must navigate through a virtual space environment. The bee’s movements are controlled by signals sent from the CubeSats in orbit, making it a truly space-based gaming experience. While the game is currently only available to a select group of beta testers, it demonstrates the potential for CubeSats to be used in gaming and entertainment.
Another example of CubeSats being used for virtual reality is the “Overview Effect” project by SpaceVR. The company launched a CubeSat in 2016 that captured 360-degree video footage of Earth from space. This footage was then used to create a virtual reality experience that allows users to feel like they are floating in space and looking down at the Earth.
The “Overview Effect” project aims to give people a new perspective on our planet and the importance of protecting it. It also demonstrates the potential for CubeSats to be used in virtual reality experiences, allowing users to explore space and other environments in a more immersive way.
CubeSats are not only being used for gaming and virtual reality, but also for educational purposes. In 2018, the University of Colorado Boulder launched a CubeSat called “Canyval-X” that carried a payload of student-designed experiments. The CubeSat also had a camera that captured images of Earth, which were used in a virtual reality experience for students to explore.
This project allowed students to gain hands-on experience in designing and building CubeSats, as well as learning about space and Earth science. It also demonstrates the potential for CubeSats to be used in educational settings, providing students with a unique and engaging way to learn about space and technology.
In conclusion, CubeSats are not just for scientific research or communication purposes. They are also being used for gaming, virtual reality, and educational applications, ushering in a new era of space-based entertainment and learning. As CubeSats become more accessible and affordable, we can expect to see even more innovative uses for these small satellites in the future.