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Virtual Life on Mars with HP Mars Home Planet

A creative and scientific VR project about living on Mars is being showcased at SIGGRAPH 2018.

Technology companies HP and NVIDIA have spent the past year working with the scientific and creative communities to develop a virtual reality (VR) simulation of what life could be life on Mars. The culmination of this work got its premiere at SIGGRAPH 2018, presented as The HP Mars Home Planet Program.

The HP Mars Home Planet VR experience takes users through a Martian Community Onboarding Centre, which shows various innovations in the areas of architecture, engineering and transportation that are aimed at making it possible for humans to live on Mars.

The VR experience was created by Technicolor, who built the experience using Unreal Engine 4. The HP Mars Home Planet VR experience was developed as a six degrees-of-freedom experience which uses motion-enabled chairs and HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets to create the immersive environment.

“The ultimate power for fully-immersive VR experiences comes from the creative community and the computing process delivered by HP and our partners,” said Gwen Coble, director, Workstations, Thin Clients, Retail Solutions and Immersive Computing, EMEA, HP Inc. “HP’s technology leadership, rich history of product innovation and understanding of the creative workflow is bringing amazing ideas to life.”

The environments and key assets used in the VR experience will be released back to the Unreal Engine community through a download sometime in Autumn 2018. This will allow other creative or educational experiences to be built from this work.

“We are living in interesting times when technological advancement is being met by a broad array of foundational space science and planetary research—a confluence that will optimistically serve to accelerate our path toward human exploration and settlement of Mars,” said Dr. Darlene Lim, Principal Investigator, NASA Biologic Analog Science. “Today, people around the world are dreaming and innovating towards this future, and the amazing entries from the HP Mars Home Planet project’s creative community give us a virtual window into what life on Mars could be like for a million members of humanity.”

For future coverage of new and innovative VR projects, keep checking back with VRFocus.

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