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Melbourne-Based Immersive Tech Studio Create AR Social Experience to Complement Netflix’s New Series

Phoria Create Never Before Seen AR Activation Enabling Users to Fully Immerse Themselves in the Conservation Conversation and Take Affirmative Action to Rewild Our Planet.

Today Melbourne-based immersive technology studio, PHORIA, 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. Our Planet showcases the Earth’s most fragile ecosystems through cutting edge multimedia storytelling and 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. 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.

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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.

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.

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Founded in 2014, PHORIA has grown to become a world leader in Extended Reality (XR), creating digital solutions for real human problems. WWF engaged PHORIA to work with Netflix, ArtScience Museum and Google to drive important conversations around climate change that promote positive action.

“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.”

Launching at three renowned venues across the globe, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (6 April, 2019 – June 2, 2019) Dolby Studio in New York City (6 April, 2019 – 22 April, 2019) and We The Curious in Bristol (UK) (12 April, 2019 – 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. 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,” continued Mr. Clews-de Castella.

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