Google and Discovery Join Forces for Virtual Reality Travel Series.

Tech giant Google and media outlet Discovery Channel have joined forces to create what promises to be quite the interesting travel experience. The new Discovery TRVLR series uses virtual reality to take viewers on a 38-episode, globe spanning, adventure that visits all seven continents. The episodes will be available on YouTube and the Discovery VR website, as well as in the Discovery VR app for iOS and Android, as well as various VR headsets.

The actual series isn’t set to debut officially until November 3, but according to the show’s website, the first season will take viewers to Auckland, Hanoi, Mexico City, Yerevan, Cape Town, La Paz and Antarctica. Along the way, they’ll get to meet locals, see the landscapes, and immerse themselves in the culture without ever leaving home.

The show will feature 7 chapters, each of which focuses on one of the continents. The chapters for North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia will be made up of six episodes each, while Antarctica will see two episodes. Viewers will be introduced to four different personalities on each continent, the Guru, the Renegade, the Entertainer and the Explorer.

Of course, there is no substitute for real travel and actually visiting these places, but this looks like a promising use of VR technology. I’m told that it isn’t just a 360º video shot using a special camera, but will be fully immersive stereoscopic virtual reality, which should make for an impressive experience, particularly on higher end devices.

Production of the series reportedly has taken more than three months, with some shooting and editing still ongoing. The recent earthquake in Mexico disrupted the crew to a degree, and there are still other locations to capture in VR before the show makes its official debut in a few weeks time.

You can check out the teaser trailer Discovery TRVLR below. Then grab yourself a pair of Google Daydream VR goggles or even Google Cardboard, and get ready to span the globe.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Google and Discovery Join Forces for Virtual Reality Travel Series

** see also: – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Download The Adventure Podcast on Your Favorite Platform.

As I write this, I am busily working away at editing the second episode of The Adventure Podcast. We hope to have the second episode out very soon. But before we release it, my cohost David Adlard and I wanted to let everyone know that the show is available on your favorite platform for listening to podcasts now. So, no matter if you enjoy listening on an iOS device, Android phone or tablet, or just on your computer, you should be able to subscribe to our feed and automatically get new episodes.

For those who want to listen to our new little venture, here’s where you can get the episodes:
  • Subscribe in iTunes/iOS Podcasts by clicking here.
  • On Android use Google Play Music to get the show here.
  • If you listen on Stitcher, you’ll find The Adventure Podcast here.
  • We also have an RSS feed set up for the show here.
Also, if you’ve had a chance to listen to the show, we’d love your feedback. We can be reached on Twitter at @adventure_pod or by email at theadventurepod@gmail.com. You can also leave comments, suggestions, and questions on our Facebook page as well.
Thanks to everyone who sent us feedback on Episode 0. We learned a lot while making it and the first  real episode will be better for it. We have some big plans for the show moving forward, and Dave and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Download The Adventure Podcast on Your Favorite Platform

** see also: –

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A Holiday Shopping Guide for Adventure Travelers.

All week long I’m sharing some holiday shopping suggestions for gifts for the outdoor and adventure lover in your life. On Monday I posted some gift ideas for the hiker and backpacker and yesterday I offered some suggestions for the outdoor athlete. Today, we’ll take a look at the top gifts for the adventure traveler with a wide variety of items to make life on the road more enjoyable.

Yeti Panga 75 Duffel ($350)
There are waterproof duffel bags and then there is the Yeti Panga 75 duffel. As you would expect from a duffel built by Yeti, this bag is practically indestructible. And thanks to the use of the hydrolock zipper, the bag can be completely submersed in water and still keep its contents completely dry. Whether your paddling the Amazon or hiking to Everest Base Camp, the Panga will keep your gear safe, secure, and dry.

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The Himalayan Database Will Soon be Available for Free.

When it comes to climbing the big mountains in Nepal – and lesser extent Tibet – The Himalayan Database is the definitive record for everything has been accomplished there over the past 50 years. The information contained in the database has been meticulously compiled by Ms. Elizabeth Hawley for five decades, and soon all of those records will be available to the general public online for free.

In an announcement posted to The Himalayan Database website reads as follows:

“Version 2 of the Himalayan Database will be released to the general public at no charge via download from this site in early November 2017 after the Spring 2017 update to the database is completed. Owners of the current version will need to download and upgrade to the new version in order to gain access to future updates and changes.”

The data covers all expeditions to the Himalaya starting in 1905 and running through 2003. It covers more than 340 different mountains across Nepal, and along the border with Tibet. According to the database website “the database is searchable by peak, climber, expedition, nationality, season, mortality rates and causes and more.”

Updated data from 2004 through 2016 is available via the Himalayan Database website, with the 2017 data to be compiled and added later. The combined information from the downloadable database and the online resource, marks the most comprehensive collection of information on mountaineering expeditions ever assembled.

Over the past few years, Ms. Hawley has eased into retirement, after maintaining the database on her own for decades. Much of her work has been taken up by German climber and journalist Billi Bierling, who along with a few other dedicated people. have been collecting and compiling the data.

Now, this resource will become available to anyone who wants to access it and search its information. For those of us who do regular reporting on the Nepal and the expeditions that visit there, it is a welcome addition to help us with that coverage. But, beyond that, it should prove very interesting for anyone who follows the mountaineering scene closely.

Watch himalayandatabase.com for an update soon.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – The Himalayan Database Will Soon be Available for Free

** see also: –

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Everest Climbing Gear – Then and Now.

National Geographic has another interesting article and photo gallery up today, this time taking a look at the past and present gear used on Everest. The slideshow contains a number of fantastic images, and each one focuses on a particular topic, such as “communications” and “insulation layers,” with information what was used when Hillary and Norgay completed the first ascent, versus the gear that the rank and file mountaineers are using now.

Today’s climbers are outfitted with highly technical apparel, a host of gadgets, and gear that offers an amazing weight-to-performance ratio. Everything from the boots they wear to the tents they stay in have improved dramatically over the past 60+ years. With all of the advanced fabrics and space-age materials at our disposal, it is easier to climb lighter, faster, and more comfortably than ever before, which is part of the reason so many more people are making the attempt.

So just how different was it back in 1953? In the Nat Geo article we learn that Hillary and Norgay couldn’t use wireless communications higher up on the mountain, so they communicated by laying out their sleeping bags in a particular pattern that could be seen below. Today, walkie-talkies, sat phones, satellite messengers, and even cell phones can be used to communicate from any point on Everest, including the summit.

Similarly, the tents used on the first ascent where heavy and bulky. Those shelters were made from cotton, and were often crowded, uncomfortable, and very heavy. In contrast, today’s tents are surprisingly strong, lightweight, and warm, even at higher altitudes. Every aspect and component of a tent has been upgraded, making them easier to carry and assemble, even when the weather turns bad.

The story is a fun one and well worth a read for Everest fans and gear junkies alike. Lots of good information here comparing climbing now to then. You’re likely to come away with even more respect for those early Everest climbers.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Everest Climbing Gear – Then and Now

** see also – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/gear/

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Gear Closet: EcoFlow River Portable Generator Review.

The options available to us for keeping our electronic devices charged while in remote regions continue to grow. A couple of weeks back I took a look at the Renogy Phoenix Solar Generator and found it to be a powerful and full featured – if a bit heavy – method for staying charged while on the go. Now, I’ve gotten my hands on another portable generator called the EcoFlow River that will be available soon, and it brings some more intriguing possibilities to the market.

Currently, the River is only available for preorder on Indiegogo, but the device is already fully-funded and should begin shipping in July of this year. In fact, the River has been such a success on the crowdfunding site that it’s designers had hoped to raise $30,000 to get it into production, but have already raked in more than $400,000 with more than two weeks to go before the campaign ends. In other words, people already want this gadget and it is a major success before it even goes on sale.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to test out a pre-production model of the River, and have found it to be an incredibly well made product. Everything about the generator screams high quality, from the excellent case (complete with handle on top), to the LCD screen that provides info on the amount of power in the device, and how it is being used, to the plethora of ports to keep our gadgets charged. In terms of lightweight, portable generators with lots of power, this is the most well thought out and best designed version I’ve seen yet.

With its 116,000 mAh battery and 500-watt output, the River is capable of recharging a smartphone up to 30 times and a laptop as many as 9 times depending on the model. Additionally, it can power a projector or mini-refrigerator for 10 hours, and recharger a drone 4-8 times as well. This makes it a great tool to have at base camp, whether you’re working in the field or spending an extended amount of time in the backcountry. And since it is waterproof resistant, offers built-in surge protection, and weights just 11 pounds, its an excellent companion for use on our adventures.

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New Virtual Reality Experience Will Recreate First Ascent of Everest.

Autor : Kraig Becker

Do you ever wonder what it was like to climb those final few steps up to the summit of Mt. Everest with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they made the first ascent of the mountain back in 1953? If so, then you may soon get the chance to witness that historical moment for yourself thanks to a new virtual reality project from a company called CGO Studios that is slated for release later this year.

The creative team at CGO specializes in making VR experiences that center around historical events. In the past, they’ve done projects that centered around the Wright Brothers’ first flight and they are currently putting the finishing touches on a digital visit to Anne Frank’s attic. But, the team is also knee deep in a project called “Everest ’53” that will take viewers high up the Himalayan peak, where they will join Hillary and Norgay as they approach the summit.

According to CGO, the team is creating its Everest project for use with the Oculus Rift VR goggles and its Touch controller. The virtual reality experience will immerse viewers in a 360º environment, and will equip them with historically accurate tools and gear to get them to the summit. The virtual environment will also replicate weather conditions on Everest on May 29, 1953 when Hillary and Norgay went to the summit for the first time, making the experience has real as possible. Both Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay – the sons of the two famous climbers – are assisting with the project, helping to deliver more realism.

The description for “Everest ’53” says that viewers will join Hillary and Norgay in the “final moments” of their ascent, but just where it will start is hard to say. Will it begin at the Hillary Step or closer to the top? Is it mostly going to just center around the view from the summit, or something else? We’ll have to wait to see for sure, but it is an intriguing premise to say the least.

I’ve had the chance to test a few VR experiences and can say that they are a lot of fun and offer some interesting tools to do unique things. For the most part, they’ll never replace actually going outside to take part in real-world activities, but I do think the technology holds a lot of promise for delivering very compelling content like this. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to check it out for myself at some point.

Find out more at cgostudios.com.

* source: – New Virtual Reality Experience Will Recreate First Ascent of Everest

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