Samsung, NASA partner on immersive moon mission experience
- Samsung is debuting "A Moon for All Mankind," an immersive, 4D lunar gravity virtual reality (VR) experience, according to a news release. The experience uses the Samsung Galaxy S9+ smartphone and Oculus-powered Gear VR headset and will be open to the public through July 2019 in New York City.
- To recreate a realistic moon mission, Samsung collaborated with the team working on the Active Response Gravity Offload System, which trains astronauts to function in low-gravity environments, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The experience was also created in partnership with creative agency Iris and creative studio Framestore.
- Visitors can experience a full space mission, including a briefing about how astronauts move on the moon. They will wear a flight suit, harness and Gear VR headset to experience what it's like to walk on the moon. The headset uses dedicated sensors and a wide viewing field to offer an immersive experience.
Experiences like "A Moon for All Mankind" give people a chance to engage with brands and and experiment with VR technology, which is still relatively new and yet to gain widespread traction. Film studios have used VR to promote new releases, including Universal's Jurassic World VR Expedition, which debuted at Dave & Buster’s venues in June ahead of the recent "Jurassic World" film release.
Samsung is taking its VR strategy a step further by leveraging its own original content to show off its immersive product line. In April, Samsung debuted six pilot episodes created specifically for VR and using the company's VR video service and Gear VR headset. The initiative, "Pilot Season," provided grants to independent filmmakers to produce original VR shows in a variety of genres using Samsung’s 360 Round camera.
Last year, Samsung announced a lineup of live VR content produced with sports and entertainment groups, including UFC, X Games and Live Nation. The content was available through Samsung's VR Live Pass. The tech company has also had VR content partnerships with NBC for coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and Six Flags to add VR roller coasters to its amusement parks.
Samsung's 4D lunar VR experience is timely, as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program, which landed the first crew on the moon in 1969. It also taps into the general public's growing interest in space exploration by giving them a unique, other-worldly experience of walking on the moon that very few will have in real life.
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