Australia Nat'l Museum Delights Visitors With VR

Australia Nat'l Museum Delights Visitors With VR
December 19, 2016

Two David Attenborough documentaries will come to life in a virtual reality experience hosted by the National Museum of Australia.


UK production company Alchemy VR has turned First Life and The Great Barrier Reef Dive into fully immersive experiences, using virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift.

A shot from David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef Dive virtual reality experience. Photo: Atlantic Productions Ltd


From Boxing Day, the experiences will open in Canberra.


In First Life, visitors travel back 540 million years as Sir David reveals the dawn of life on Earth and introduces its earliest inhabitants, exploring ancient oceans and extinct sea creatures.


Long-extinct animals such as the "whimsically built Opabinia, the fearsome looking Anomalocaris and the spiny, worm-like Hallucigenia, will be brought vividly alive", the museum said.


In the Great Barrier Reef Dive, real-world footage and new technologies "shed new light on the habitat", the museum said.

An image of Anomalocais from David Attenborough's First Life VR experience. Photo: Atlantic Productions Ltd


Visitors take a 360-degree tour through the "vibrant corals, darting fish and deadly sharks in the great natural wonder of the world".


The museum has described how, in a state-of-the-art submersible, Sir David guides people over 3000 reef systems, face-to-face with the diversity and abundance of the reef. They will see how researchers are using historic corals to predict how the reef will respond to environmental changes.


"Virtual reality has the potential to show people the world in a completely new way, and excite and inspire audiences to engage in the natural world and its past through groundbreaking technology," Alchemy VR chief executive Anthony Geffen said in a statement.


National Museum of Australia director Mathew Trinca was "delighted to bring an innovative new experience to Canberra".


"VR is an exciting way to explore our global environmental history and to better understand the animals and habitats around us," he said.


The David Attenborough VR experience opens Boxing Day. Bookings essential. See for details.

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