Aside from our mission to make it possible for people to experience the beauty and excitement of the natural world from afar, without the environmental impact from travel, We have a vision about how afarTV can help create a fundamental shift in the way we see our planet.
A Planet in Peril
Scientists’ dire warnings and predictions about climate change and the ecological damage we have inflicted on this blue sphere we call home has done little more than make us understand that we have a problem. Even the increasing effects of climate change that are now being felt first hand by different parts of the planet through natural disasters seem to only trigger a need to fortify ourselves and our way of life rather than change it.
Positive Change is Happening but not Enough
New, low-carbon technology like electrified transportation and renewable energy will help us reduce our carbon footprint and therefore impact on the planet, however even if we stop burning fossil fuels completely, it won’t be enough to reverse the global warming trajectory that we are now on.
A planet-wide cognitive shift needs to occur to a level where we understand the need to prioritize the ecological stability of the planet over all else and act accordingly.
The Overview Effect
Perhaps our hope in elevating the level of human consciousness lies with the profound shift in perception that astronauts experience after seeing the earth as a whole from space - a phenomenon known as the “Overview Effect”.
By staring down from a vantage point that makes the planet appear fragile, tiny, and alone in the vast blackness of space, astronauts gain a realization of the interconnectedness of everything on Earth. An extreme sense of oneness is felt and a sense that divisions and borders are totally arbitrary. The Overview Effect is credited for this cognitive shift that prioritizes the need to unify humanity into a society which cares for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Can the Overview Effect Live up to Its Promise?
Back in 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission, astronaut William Anders captured a photo of the earth appearing from behind the moon. This dramatic photo shows a distant earth surrounded by the blackness of space from the perspective of someone on the moon’s surface. Known today as “Earthrise”, this photo is recognized as playing a key role in helping to trigger the environmental movement and is considered by some “as the most influential environmental photo ever taken”.
If a photo from 50 years ago could have such a lasting impact on how we see and care for the earth, how much more of an impact would bringing the Overview Effect experience to millions of people?
AfarTV Wants to Help
At AfarTV, we are trying to simulate what it must feel like to look down on earth from outer space by streaming live camera feeds that are broadcasting from the International Space Station. As interesting as this might be, It doesn’t come close to recreating an Overview Effect because the sense of scale and detail is lost when most viewers are restricted to watching the view from the small screen of their phones.
VR 360° from Out of this World
Thankfully, the technology has now arrived that allows 360° VR video feeds to be experienced with consumer-level VR headsets. AfarTV is experimenting with 360° livestreams down here on earth, but our goal is to help get 360° cameras broadcasting down from space, 24 hours a day.
Our vision is that anyone can put on a headset and experience first hand, something that until now has only been possible for astronauts and wealthy space tourists - a cognitive shift in how we act to save our planet - triggered by the Overview Effect.
If you would like to help us make this vision a reality, we'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email.