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This Melbourne based immersive tech studio created an AR social experience to complement a David Attenborough-narrated Netflix series


Melbourne-based immersive technology studio, PHORIA, recently 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, this innovative installation blends location-based AR technology and IMAX-style content into an immersive and interactive experience.

The exhibition complements Our Planet, an eight-part documentary series narrated by Sir David Attenborough and is accompanied by Behind-the-Scenes content.

Our Planet showcases the Earth’s most fragile ecosystems through cutting edge multimedia storytelling and is available to stream worldwide on Netflix.

What is this docuseries all about?

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.

Viewers will witness stunning, never-before-seen footage of wildlife and their habitats – while also discovering why the natural world matters to us all and what steps must be taken to preserve it.

REWILD Our Planet takes on a macro perspective of the same biomes to help users understand their role in restoring these ecosystems.

The experience brings to life an unflinching account of how humanity has damaged the natural world and encourages humans to take back control and restore balance by rewilding these environments.

How this nature docuseries different?

REWILD Our Planet combines 2D storytelling with AR gameplay, supported by sensory sights and sounds.

The experience prompts users to physically collaborate with one another to restore damaged biomes, unlocking unique weather patterns and wild animal encounters.

By rewilding realistic 3D landscapes together, users are able to realise their collective power to take action.

Finally, users will leave their mark on the exhibition by placing ongoing AR pledges. These are a commitment to the environment and connect to WWF’s Voice for the Planet campaign.

Teaser for Our Planet docuseries

Where does PHORIA come in?

This one-of-a-kind experience is achieved through PHORIA’s software platform CAPTUR3D, whose unique digital twin system creates a virtual clone of each exhibition site.

The digital twin system aligns digital information within the physical space, and as a result, it generates a new form of contextual storytelling.

REWILD Our Planet is the first shared and ongoing AR experience to operate 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, emotive soundscape: it adapted the series’ master audio score (comprising original music by Steven Price – best known for his Academy Award-winning score for ‘Gravity’) and added sound effects from nature to enhance key moments in the video.

Thanks to these partners, developers like PHORIA can bring these experiences to an even larger user base, helping launch REWILD Our Planet globally.

“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.

Trent Clews-de Castella, CEO 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.”

He continued, “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.”

Where can one catch this experience?

The series launched at three renowned venues across the globe, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 6 April, 2019 and will be open until June 2, 2019.

You can also find it Dolby Studio in New York City until 22 April, 2019 and We The Curious in Bristol (UK) which started showing on 12 April, 2019 and will stop on 2 June, 2019.

REWILD Our Planet aims to augment the emotional connection users feel to each other and the planet.

“Together, these world first features will generate a shared understanding of our responsibility to protect nature through time,” said Mr. Clews-de Castella.

“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.”

What exactly is PHORIA?

PHORIA is a world leading immersive tech studio that specialises in cutting-edge Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality (VR/AR/MR/XR) technology.

With a globally recognised team of developers, creatives and partners, PHORIA are on a mission to transform human experiences and augment intelligent environments.

They create powerful user interactions and social experiences, all with the goal to generate a positive impact on the world.