Holographic-Capture Startup 8i Shows Off Buzz Aldrin VR Experience at SXSW

Buzz Aldrin VR
Courtesy of 8i

Holographic capture startup 8i and Time Inc. are set to show off 8i’s new virtual-reality experience “Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars” Tuesday at SXSW in Austin, Texas. The experience features a life-size hologram of Aldrin himself, laying out plans for humans to take a trip to Mars within the next 2o years.

Aldrin has long had his own thoughts on how to get to Mars — only, it’s not a straight shot. The engineer and former astronaut has for some years now been advocating for a multiple-step approach that would include pit stops on the Moon, as well as a spaceship that would continuously cycle back and forth between Earth and Mars.

It’s an idea that’s a bit hard to explain, which is why Aldrin was so excited when 8i approached him to film a life-size hologram last August. The cooperation was initially just about a short snippet for a separate project, but Aldrin insisted on the 8i team his Mars expedition plans as well.

The company ended up turning it into a complete VR experience that not only includes a life-sized hologram of Aldrin himself, but also a way for viewers to step onto the surface of Mars with him, take a close peek at a solar-powered spacecraft, and see models of the planets circle around them.

8i developed the VR experience in cooperation with Soylent, with some help from Loot and FuseFX. After premiering at SXSW, the experience is going to get published as part of Time Inc.’s Time and Life VR for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR headsets. In addition, there will be a mobile video version for mobile headsets and phones.

8i, which is specializing in holographic capture, recently raised a new $27 million round of funding from Time Warner Investments, Baidu Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Verizon and others. In addition to VR projects like the Buzz Aldrin experience, 8i has also been working on augmented reality, and recently previewed an app promises to combine cell phone videos with holograms from pop stars and YouTubers.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Digital News from Variety

Loading