'REWILD Our Planet': WWF, Google, Netflix, ArtScience Museum and Phoria launch Singapore's first social AR experience
Out of this world
Back in 2017, the ArtScience Museum launched 'Into The Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure', a permanent exhibition in collaboration with Google, Lenovo and WWF that transformed 850-square-metres of its galleries into a virtual rainforest on a smartphone. More amazingly, it resulted in several thousand real trees being planted in Sumatra, Indonesia.
This week, it sets new precedence with 'REWILD Our Planet', Singapore's first social augmented reality experience in partnership with Google, Netflix, WWF and Australian media company Phoria. The immersive and interactive exhibition takes visitors into the landscapes featured in Netflix's ambitious eight-part nature documentary series Our Planet — which begins streaming on 5 April — using IMAX-style large-scale projections and an augmented reality environment. The hope is that the mediated, personalised journey through under-threat habitats such as Mongolia's grasslands and the Artic's frozen tundras will evoke empathy and in turn, a more convincing call-to-action prompt towards a more eco-conscious society.
The 10-minute experience begins on the fourth floor of the museum, where visitors will be loaned a Google Pixel 3. In small groups, they will enter the gallery and be guided not only by the breathtaking 4K footage from Our Planet but also the incomparable voice of world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. What's exceptional, though, is the fact that the participants will have to work together to build rugged terrains beneath their feet, unlock global weather patterns, encounter wildlife around them and make crucial experiential decisions, all in real-time and in-sync.
This one-of-a-kind virtual and cinematic exploration was made possible by Google's ARCore technology that brings AR to mobile devices without any special hardware as well as Phoria's unique immersive digital system.