Scientists and consumers could collaborate on NASA research projects with the advent of consumer-grade virtual reality headsets like Project Morpheus, says SCEA’s Anton Mikhailov. Sony introduced its VR headset, codenamed Project Morpheus, at GDC last week, also announcing its partnership with NASA during the reveal event. The two parties have been sharing knowledge around virtual reality tech for some time, Sony learning from NASA’s military-grade simulations and NASA taking advantage of Sony’s cheaper, consumer-grade tech to offer its scientists and academics access to virtual reality at a fraction of the previous cost. And Sony’s bid to popularise virtual reality by bringing it to the masses could yet feed back into NASA’s own research, says SCEA senior software engineer Anton Mikhailov. “They’re excited about regular people following along with the NASA scientists, using similar hardware to explore the same thing scientists are exploring,” he told us at GDC last week. “Who knows, it could even crowdsource some of this stuff. Imagine if they collected photo satellite data from all around Mars – it’d take a lot of time for them to sift through all of that, so what if you could get the masses of gamers on PlayStation to help you out. “Gamers are good at finding stuff – you give someone a VR headset and you say – ‘find water on Mars – go’. They get a ton of data and we help out science. That’s personally what gets me excited about collaborating with someone like NASA, and obviously there are other collaborations – virtual tourism, museums, all of that stuff. There are some very exciting possibilities.” via Edge Online.