A new AR project and Netflix series are making climate change realer than ever

Anti-environmentalism groups who believe climate change is all one big conspiracy—pay attention. The next big social campaign on the matter comes in the form of a social augmented reality (AR) experience jointly developed by some of the world’s biggest brands: Google, Netflix, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Phoria—presented at none other than our very own ArtScience Museum.

It’s quite the collaboration. WWF assisted in the production of a new documentary series Our Planet, a monumental project that will premiere globally on Netflix today (Apr 5). Immersive tech studio Phoria then stepped in to turn select scenes from the series into a fully experiential exhibit, viable only when integrated with Google’s ARCore technology and accessed on the Google Pixel 3. Together, the final product is a compact travelling exhibition titled Rewild Our Planet, debuting Apr 6-Jun 2 at the ArtScience Museum.

The exhibition takes over where the previous showcase by The MeshMinds Foundation left off. While MeshMinds 2.0: ArtxTechforGood featured 20 multi-sensory experiences blending tech, art and sustainability messaging, Rewild Our Planet has just one main attraction. The museum’s Inspiration Gallery has been turned into an amphitheatre-like space, with the flooring almost unrecognisable in a map of topographic AR codes.

, A new AR project and Netflix series are making climate change realer than ever
Photo credit: Marina Bay Sands

Through IMAX-style projections, AR, and the Google Pixel 3, you’re brought on a 10-minute experiential adventure where you can view simulated real-world landscapes, unlock global weather patterns, and most importantly, re-build natural landscapes in 3D. Like all AR experiences, the magic works through the handheld device, whose images tie in seamlessly with the visuals on the big screen.

Keeping things as relevant to Singapore as possible, the four selected natural landscapes featured are the forests of Borneo and India, the oceans of Asia, the grasslands of Mongolia, and the frozen worlds of the Arctic.

, A new AR project and Netflix series are making climate change realer than ever
Reforestation efforts end the experience on a positive note

Stimulated by the 4K video footage for more? Then go into binge-mode with Our Planet, brought to you by the same people who created the award-winning series Planet Earth, which  goes up on Netflix today at 4pm. The all-new eight-part series showcases the planet’s most precious species and fragile habitats in stunning visuals, accompanied by the soothing narrations from world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Over a staggering 3,500 days of filming, more than 600 crew members helped gather never-before-filmed footage of the planet’s remaining wilderness. In one episode, Frozen World, the team sat for days simply waiting to capture the melting of ice shelves in Greenland; at the beck and call of nature.

The collaborative effort of all these big brands certainly mirrors the kind of group effort required to make real change in conservation. As representatives from WWF Singapore rightly acknowledged, the power for change lies most directly in the hands of businesses and governments—who in turn must first be swayed by the voices and beliefs of the people. And guess what? That’s you.

Admission to the exhibition is free—and so is that Netflix subscription you’ve been mooching off your friend.

Rewild Our Planet runs Apr 6-Jun 2 at the Inspiration Gallery, Level 4, ArtScience Museum. More information is available here and you can read more about Our Planet here.