Renowned natural history broadcaster David Attenborough said, “All across our planet, crucial connections are being disrupted. What we do in the next 20 years will determine the future for all life on Earth.”
Indeed, our planet is in dire need of radical change. We, the human race, in our compulsion for development and progress, are depleting the world’s natural resources, outpacing the planet’s natural ability to recover and replenish. The rate of deterioration is astonishingly high, worst in the last four decades. This rapid degradation is a threat to the environment, affecting the global climate, biodiversity and in turn impacting wildlife population and millions of people around the globe. If current trends continue, and we fail to act, this degradation will be irreversible.
We have a small window to act—scientists believe we have less than a dozen years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. A half-degree difference would have devastating effects including extreme heatwaves, ice-free summers in the Arctic sea, and the loss of virtually all of the world’s coral reefs. The snowball effects would be nothing short of catastrophic.
“The greatest threat to our planet is belief that someone else will save,” Robert Swan, polar explorer turned environmentalist once said.
As a small step to highlight the fragility of the planet and the negative impacts humankind has imparted, the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, is hosting REWILD Your Planet—Singapore’s first social augmented reality (AR) experience. The sensory experience is jointly developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Google, Netflix, ArtScience Museum and PHORIA.
Kim Stengert, Chief, Strategic Communications and External Relations, WWF-Singapore said: “Global wildlife populations have declined by 60 percent in the last 40 years due to unsustainable human activity, which impacts the very natural systems that our survival depends on. We need to not just stop, but reverse, the loss of nature. Bringing the challenges and solutions to life through REWILD Our Planet will help people around the world understand that they have a shared responsibility to act and protect nature. The powerful message conveyed dovetails with a unique opportunity to call for urgent action to protect the one place we call home, sending the clear message that it is no longer acceptable to continue to destroy our environment.”
Running from 6 April to 2 June 2019, the immersive experience connects people to nature (and one another) through immersive, multi-sensory storytelling. Inspired by and based on stunning 4K video footage from Our Planet—the spectacular new Netflix original documentary series that debuts today, is narrated by world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
Our Planet is an amazing (and sometimes brutal) eight-part series that showcases the planet’s precious species and fragile habitats, and some of Earth’s never before seen awe-inspiring sights. From the creators of the award-winning series Planet Earth, and the result of a four-year collaboration with Silverback Films and WWF, the series combines stunning photography and technology. The ambitious project took three years to film in 50 countries across the globe, with over 600 members of crew capturing over 3,500 filming days. Putting everything together took another year to complete.
Jessica Lee, Vice President of Communications for Netflix said: “Our Planet is the definitive nature documentary event of our time and Netflix’s most ambitious documentary project to date. We are proud to bring great and vital content like this to millions of people worldwide, informing and inspiring them towards taking action for the greater good. With REWILD Our Planet, we are taking this one step further by showing how stories can come to life in a way that spurs us all to help improve our environment. We couldn’t be more delighted to do this in concert with amazing partners like WWF, Google, PHORIA and ArtScience Museum of Singapore.”
Footage from Our Planet was later integrated with Google’s ARCore technology to bring the entire experience to life. The AR experience at the ArtScience Museum took nine months to develop and deploy. According to PHORIA, REWILD Our Planet was engineered in a modular way to pop up remotely anywhere in the world. The ArtScience Museum being the first stop, the experience will later travel to Dolby SoHo in New York City and We The Curious in Bristol.
Trent Clews-de Castella, CEO of PHORIA said: “REWILD Our Planet showcases how AR has the power to build bridges between people and the places they love. 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 is built around four “biomes” or natural landscapes, representing the last wilderness places on Earth: Forests of Borneo and India; Oceans of Asia; Grasslands of Mongolia; and Frozen worlds of the Arctic.
Attendees, in groups, are equipped with a Google Pixel 3 smartphone, where they can immerse themselves in breath-taking IMAX-style projections with spatial soundscapes and AR. There are some surprises too, so do keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Participants can work together to build natural landscapes in 3D and unlock global weather patterns. The key takeaway is a deeper understanding of shared solutions, to spark conversations about conservation, and the meaningful pledge to act and help the planet rebuild.
Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands said: “REWILD Our Planet is an immersive and interactive exhibition that shows how climate change impacts all living creatures. It uses cutting edge technology to transport visitors to some of the world’s most jaw-dropping landscapes. REWILD Our Planet follows up on what we did together with WWF and Google with Into The Wild, our augmented reality experience about rainforests in South East Asia. The users of that project have so far planted over 10,000 trees in Sumatra. REWILD Our Planet is even more ambitious. It combines art and technology to encourage all of us to play an active role in the conservation of our world.”
Visit REWILD Our Planet
Location: Inspiration Gallery, Level 4, ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
- Dates: Saturday, 6 April 2019 to Sunday, 2 June 2019
- Timings: 10am to 7pm daily
- Cost: Free admission
- Session: Duration 10 mins with maximum 20 pax capacity per session