April 6, 2019 – Melbourne-based immersive technology studio, PHORIA, has announced the launch of ‘REWILD Our Planet’, which uses persistent and social Augmented Reality (AR). In partnership with Netflix, WWF, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Arup and Google, the installation blends location-based AR technology and IMAX-style content into an interactive immersive experience. The exhibition complements Our Planet, an eight-part documentary series narrated by Sir David Attenborough, which is available to stream worldwide on Netflix from April 5. 2019.
The Our Planet documentary series captures the impact of human life across Earth’s diverse and interconnected biomes, including forest, grassland, ocean and frozen regional landscapes. REWILD Our Planet takes on a macro perspective of the same biomes to help users understand their role in restoring these ecosystems by combining 2D storytelling with AR gameplay. The experience brings to life an account of how humanity has damaged the natural world and encourages humans to restore balance by rewilding these environments.
The experience is achieved through PHORIA’s software platform CAPTUR3D, which utilizes a ‘digital twin’ system to create a virtual clone of each exhibition site. The digital twin system aligns digital information within a physical space. REWILD Our Planet is therefore a shared and ongoing AR experience that operates across three cities at the same time. This was achieved by leveraging Google’s ARCore software – an Android SDK that brings AR to mobile devices and by partnering with Arup for the structural design of the physical elements of the exhibition that could be scaled internationally. To intensify the visitor experience, Arup’s acoustics team also created an immersive soundscape: it adapted the series’ master audio score and added sound effects from nature to enhance key moments in the video.
“REWILD Our Planet showcases how AR has the power to build bridges between people and the places they love,” said Trent Clews-de Castella, CEO of PHORIA. “This evocative experience emphasises the connection between human beings and our environment. It generates a sense of presence and interactivity for every individual user. Building this exhibition with Netflix and Google and combining it with compassion-driven narrative from WWF demonstrates how emerging XR technologies will transform the social impact sector for good.”
REWILD Our Planet will be launching at three venues across the globe: ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (April 6, 2019 – June 2, 2019); Dolby Studio in New York City (April 6, 2019 – April 22, 2019); and We The Curious in Bristol (UK) (April 12, 2019 – June 2, 2019).
Clews-de Castella added: “Together, these world first features will generate a shared understanding of our responsibility to protect nature through time. The global activation has been designed to remind users that we are all on the same team and that the effort to rewild the world needs everyone involved”.
For more information about REWILD Our Planet, visit: rewild.wwf.sg.
Image credit: PHORIA/REWILD Our Planet
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.