UH Manoa students develop Hokulea virtual reality experience

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Before the compass, clocks, and GPS were invented, Pacific Islanders navigated the open ocean using nothing but nature, which included stars, birds, and marine life.

For the past three years, Hokulea’s crew members used those traditional wayfinding techniques to make their way around the world.

Soon you’ll be able to see what it’s like on Hokulea thanks to virtual reality technology.

Four University of Hawaii at Manoa students created a project called Kilo Hoku.

“We built as part of a class project, but we decided we were going to continue with it and build something even stronger, and hopefully carry it forward and be able to use it as an educational tool,” said student Patrick Karjala.

“Not everybody has the option to actually get on one of the voyaging canoes, and this is a way for anybody to give it a try and see what it’s like,” said student Dean Lodes.

You’ll be able to experience Kilo Hoku at the Malama Honua Fair and Summit, which takes place this Sunday through Tuesday at the Hawaii Convention Center.Get more information about the Malama Honua Fair and Summit here.

The team hopes to someday make this available as a free educational tool, so that anyone with the right VR equipment could go online and download the program.

KHON2 will be airing Hokulea’s homecoming live on Saturday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on our sister station, Hawaii’s CW. It will also be live-streamed on KHON2.com.

You can also watch a rebroadcast that night on KHON2 at 6:30 p.m.Click here for more information.Join the conversation on our Facebook event page here.

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