Story image

Go on a VR tour of the Natural History Museum with David Attenborough

David Attenborough will give behind the scenes tours of the Natural History Museum in a new virtual reality experience that Microsoft has helped to create.

The experience lets people visit parts of the London museum usually closed to the public with the world-famous broadcaster and hear him talk about the rare artefacts and objects on display, all from the comfort of their own home.

Attenborough was filmed by more than 100 cameras at Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Capture Studio in Redmond, there are similar studios in London and San Francisco, in order to be recreated as a hologram for Sky’s Hold the World experience, which was conceived and produced by London-based content studio Factory 42 for Sky’s VR app.

The footage was combined with photogrammetry, overlapping photos, which was used to recreate the Natural History Museum. 

The museum’s CT scanning department then worked with museum scientists and animation teams to create accurate models and animations of a blue whale, a stegosaurus, a trilobite, a dragonfly, a butterfly and a pterosaur, among other animals. 

Attenborough says, “Sharing my passion for the natural world is something I have done for many years through different technologies, from the days of the black-and-white TV to colour, HD, 3D, 4K and now virtual reality.

“Hold the World is an extraordinary next step in how we can communicate and educate people about experiences they wouldn’t usually have access to in the real world.”

“I am delighted about what users can learn and discover from the Natural History Museum’s treasures in this new VR experience, it really is one of the most convincing and bewitching experiences that the world of technology has yet produced.”

Users of the app can choose to explore a number of locations in the museum, such as the Conservation Centre, the Earth Sciences Library and the Cryptogamic Herbarium. 

In each of the locations, Sir David sits opposite the user and invites them to examine and virtually handle several rare specimens. 

The objects “come to life” and can be enlarged and expanded to help users learn more about their history and see a level of detail that they wouldn’t normally get.

You can watch a trailer for this VR experience here: 

Valve stops Steam Link hardware sales; promotes Android app instead
Valve announced that its supply of Steam Link hardware has sold out – and by the looks of it, it won’t be making any more.
Hands-on review: Spyro Reignited Trilogy brings back the PSOne icon
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a great remake that features new school graphics with old fashioned style of gameplay.
Don't let criminals ruin your online shopping
It’s that time of year again. Not only have New Zealanders developed a bit of a taste for sales like black Friday and cyber Monday, the holiday season is well upon us.
Student app Niesh gets $1m funding windfall
“We’re a data driven company, and we’re using what we know to benefit students and the companies giving them rewards, discounts, and jobs,” explains co-founder Jae Yoo.  
NZ-grown fitness app draws on augmented reality
“I started working on creating an AR app over a year ago starting with just fitness. But as we moved on, it made sense to add in special features."
NZ's online merchants can now offer Google Pay
With Google Pay, customers will be able to speed through checkout with just a few clicks."
Hands-on review: Intel Core i7 8086K Limited Edition
Whilst I’ve seen commemorative coins and stamps, I’ve never seen a commemorative CPU. Intel’s Core i7 8086K is exactly that.
Hands-on review: Logitech G1 Pro Gaming Headphones and Mouse
For the serious gamer, this kit will have you happily spreading mayhem in glorious surround sound.