An interactive virtual reality (VR) experience exploring Peru’s world-renowned Machu Picchu and its surrounding sites has been launched by Sydney-based digital agency Cypha Interactive.
Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably the world’s most famous archaeological site, but it remains largely inaccessible to the outside world.
Machu Picchu 360 allows users to explore Machu Picchu, the sweeping vistas of the Sacred Valley and Urubamba River that it overlooks, and the soaring heights of the mountain Huayna Picchu.
The experience features an explorable 3D model of Machu Picchu with interactive ‘places of interest’, which offer information regarding the historical significance of the site and are themselves seamlessly explorable.
To capture the spherical, 4K quality, 360-degree video, Cypha Interactive used a custom dual camera rig developed by 360fly as well as a separate audio recorder during filming at Machu Picchu.
A significant amount of post-production work was required to stitch footage from the two cameras together, as well as to remove camera equipment and shadows from the shots.
The Cypha Interactive team travelled to the Peruvian Andes in 2016 to capture the footage that the experience is built around.
Daniel Christos, managing director of Cypha Interactive, said: “Machu Picchu is one of those places that just cannot be captured through photography; it’s multisensory.
“If you’re looking at one thing, there is something worth looking at right behind you, so it made sense to try and capture it in a 360-degree VR experience.
“We also wanted to communicate the significance of so many of the sites at this surreal location. It’s a difficult place to get to but one that we felt should be experienced by everyone.
“We wanted to be able to bring that experience to those that are unable to get there. We partnered with the solutions team at 360Fly to help bring this experience to life.”