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Virtual studio in Venice dives into the ocean

Ever wanted to go scuba diving without actually taking a dip in the ocean?

Now you can do it virtually, thanks to an unusual oceanic environment created by a start-up called Wemo Media.

The Venice-based company has spent the last two years developing the Web application, named theBlu, which simulates an oceanic environment and combines elements of an animated movie, online game and social media.

Unlike a traditional studio, Wemo functions as a virtual studio in which the animators and computer programmers aren’t housed in a traditional bricks-and-mortar building. The fish and fauna are created by artists from Los Angeles to Mumbai and are programmed to behave as they would in their natural habitat — allowing viewers to tag, follow and even buy their favorite fish.

TheBlu has been in a test phase for several months but officially debuts this week, the first of several interactive entertainment projects Wemo hopes will harness the global reach and interactivity of the Web.

Read more about theBlu in Saturday's business section.

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-- Richard Verrier

Photo: Video on the making of theBlu. Credit: Wemo Media

 
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