Canadian firm developing immersive virtual reality camera systems for space exploration
Montreal-based company's virtual reality experiences promise to engage the public as never before
August 12, 2021 – Longueuil, Quebec
Immersive virtual reality (VR) technology has transformed the entertainment industry and now has the potential to become a game-changer on how we experience space exploration. Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that Montreal's Felix & Paul Studios is receiving a contribution worth $482,607 from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to further develop VR camera technology that could capture and transmit high-quality footage from future international missions to the Moon and other deep-space destinations.
The CSA's investment will help Felix & Paul Studios commercialize technology that is poised to become a part of Canada's growing new-space economy. The company's experience in 360-degree immersive filmmaking on the International Space Station, paired with its skills in technical innovation, has the potential to strengthen Canada's status as a leader in space optics and camera technologies, and position Canadian companies to become part of the expanding lunar exploration supply chain.
The technology could have a range of potential applications for space robotics—including helping robotics operators on the ground see better in the lunar environment. The studio's immersive experiences will also captivate the public by making space more accessible, and by bringing Earth-bound viewers along on the adventure like never before.
"We are pleased to support Felix & Paul Studios' move ahead on this bold and innovative journey. Through their innovative camera technology and creative acumen, they will be able to bring Canadian expertise to a growing space economy. It is moments like these which help tell the story of humanity's adventures in space."
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
This funding will increase the technical development of Felix & Paul Studios' Extra Vehicular Activity Immersive Camera technology that could support the capturing and transmission of high quality content in the harsh conditions encountered during robotic and human exploration missions in space and on the lunar surface.
Felix & Paul Studios is an award-winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences, and is the only NASA-approved company with the capacity to film in ultra-high-definition 3D, 360-degree virtual reality aboard the International Space Station.
Felix & Paul Studios, in association with TIME, NASA and other space agencies, produced Space Explorers: The ISS Experience. It is an immersive production filmed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, including the CSA's David Saint-Jacques during his mission two years ago.
This funding stems from the CSA's Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). LEAP is preparing Canada's space sector for humanity's return to the Moon by investing $150 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon's surface in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and health.
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