'Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS' Virtual Reality Experience Premieres at SXSW

'Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS' Virtual Reality Experience Premieres at SXSW

'Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS' Virtual Reality Experience Premieres at SXSWToday at SXSW, Buzz Aldrin and 8i with Time Inc's (NYSE: TIME) LIFE VR, will premiere the world's first legacy VR project featuring the celebrated astronaut's hologram as he takes viewers on a journey through space and reveals his plan to send humans to Mars. "Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS" is a groundbreaking educational room-scale VR experience with stunning visual effects that is the first official release from holographic technology company 8i, and the first room-scale VR experience featuring a real human to be released by Time Inc.'s LIFE VR. SXSW attendees will be the first to experience "Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS" at its world premiere today in the Virtual Cinema starting at 11 a.m. (CT), followed by a featured session with Buzz Aldrin in conversation with TIME Editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger at 3:30 p.m.

"While the moon landing was a monumental achievement for humanity, there's no greater mission than mankind's journey to Mars," said Buzz Aldrin, astronaut on Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 missions. "I have a plan for creating a human settlement on Mars, and thanks to virtual reality and holographic technology from 8i, we now have an exciting new way to communicate this plan with the world and to leave my legacy behind for future generations of aspiring space travelers."

"Capturing Buzz Aldrin's hologram for future generations has been an incredible honor and a watershed moment for 8i," said Steve Raymond, CEO of 8i. "Virtual reality has enormous potential to educate and inspire, and we know Buzz will spark the imagination of young people who will one day journey to Mars and begin a new chapter for mankind. Our entire team has been thrilled to work on this project and we're excited for everyone to see it."

"Our goal with LIFE VR was not only to bring Time Inc's storytelling to a brand new medium, but to also push boundaries and be pioneering within this medium," said Mia Tramz, Managing Editor of LIFE VR. "Working with 8i on this project allowed us to bring TIME and LIFE's history of covering human exploration to an exciting and unprecedented new frontier, and to bring our readers into this topic in a completely new way."

"Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS," which was created by 8i in partnership with Soylent, features a photorealistic 3D hologram of the real Dr. Aldrin with true volume and depth, allowing viewers to 'meet' the American icon and walk around his hologram as if he were in the same room. To create the hologram, Aldrin was recorded by 8i using volumetric capture and proprietary technology that brings photorealistic holograms of humans into virtual, augmented, and mixed reality in an easy and scalable way. The environment was created by 8i in collaboration with Loot and with stunning visual effects from FuseFX.

In a featured session at SXSW today, Aldrin will take the stage for a conversation with TIME's Kluger, the co-author of "Apollo 13," to discuss his plans for creating a permanent human settlement on Mars, why he chose virtual reality as a medium to educate audiences, and the importance of capturing his hologram and legacy for future generations. 8i Cofounder, Linc Gasking, and LIFE VR Managing Editor, Mia Tramz, will also discuss the project in a SXSW panel on holograms and the future of virtual and augmented reality, today at 2 p.m. (CT).

Shortly after its SXSW premiere, "Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS" will be distributed by Time Inc. to TIME and LIFE VR audiences across multiple VR platforms including Steam and Viveport for the HTC Vive beginning March 17, and to Oculus Rift soon thereafter. A VR trailer for the experience will be available in the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android beginning March 17. LIFE VR, which creates and distributes all of Time Inc.'s virtual reality content, publishes programming across multiple platforms, including a dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus. LIFE VR also has 360-degree videos available on desktop and mobile web, across Time Inc. websites and at Time.com/LifeVR.

For video, please visit: https://youtu.be/9bff_YHdVYM.

About Time Inc. Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is a leading content company that engages over 150 million consumers every month through our portfolio of premium brands across platforms. By combining our distinctive content with our proprietary data and people-based targeting, we offer highly differentiated end-to-end solutions to marketers across the multimedia landscape. Our influential brands include People, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom. Time Inc. has been extending the power of our brands through various acquisitions and investments, including Viant, an advertising technology firm with a specialized people-based marketing platform; The Foundry, Time Inc.'s creative lab and content studio; and the People Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). The company is also home to celebrated events, such as the Time 100, Fortune Most Powerful Women, People's Sexiest Man Alive, Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year, the Essence Festival and the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

About 8i 8i's mission is to enable the evolution of media and human communication by giving people the best way to connect with each other and express themselves through holograms. We provide the easiest way to create, use and experience human holograms that look real, and can be viewed from any angle, on any device for virtual, augmented or mixed reality. Our proprietary technology transforms video from an array of cameras using volumetric capture into a photorealistic hologram that can easily be integrated into variety of 3D computing experiences. Founded in May 2014, 8i is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and Los Angeles. Learn more at http://8i.com/.

Photo credit Ashley Barrett

SOURCE: BUSINESS WIRE ©2015 Business Wire