laser light show

Beams of light from the Laser Light Show beam from the visitor center toward Grand Coulee Dam.

GRAND COULEE – A new, all-access virtual reality learning experience is being launched this weekend at Grand Coulee Dam.

Pixvana and Big Power Project have joined to deliver the new all-access VR service. The five-minute educational VR experience will launch May 25 in the Grand Coulee Dam visitor center off Highway 155 below the dam.

It will showcase “one of the largest and most complicated power-generating facilities on the planet and (teach) visitors the inner workings of how hydroelectricity works,” said project spokesman Pete Bahrenburg.

Launch of the VR program coincides with opening of the Laser Light Show for the season. The show will play on the dam’s face nightly from May 25 through Sept. 30.

Show time is 10 p.m. from May 26 to July 31, 9:30 p.m. during August and 8:30 p.m. during September.

For the VR show, “Oculus Go headsets will be stationed in the dam visitor center and will utilize (Seattle-based) Pixvana’s SPIN Studio platform, making it easy to manage and distribute this content to multiple VR headsets at once,” said Bahrenburg. “The fully immersive experience includes never-before-seen footage that spans from the top of the dam, inside the water-fed generators, all the way down the 5,000-foot-long face - and everywhere in between.”

The 360-degree video, produced by Big Power Project and powered by Pixvana SPIN Studio, brings viewers inside the dam’s Third Power Plant. The Third Plant is one of the largest and most complicated power-generating facilities in the world, producing enough electricity to power approximately three million homes at maximum capacity.

“Pixvana’s cloud-based SPIN Studio platform and one-click casting tools for viewing are second to none in the industry,” said Ted Youngs, founder of Big Power Project. “And, when the Grand Coulee Dam shared their vision of providing an immersive VR tour of their impressive facility that could be experienced by multiple viewers simultaneously, we knew that Pixvana would provide the best experience for the quarter million people that visit the dam each year.”

“The Grand Coulee Dam is one of the most fascinating facilities in the country, but high security, the extremely loud volume of operation and other physical barriers make it difficult to experience live,” said Rachel Lanham, chief operating officer for Pixvana.

“The opportunity lent itself perfectly to the Virtual Reality medium, helping viewers learn in an exciting new way that increases retention, memory and empathy.”

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