VR Project Offers Virtual Tour of Simulated Life on Mars
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on August 28, 2018 |

NASA rovers have provided a detailed glimpse of the Mars surface. Study of the neighboring planet continues, but humans are still nowhere near making the red planet a habitable destination. That doesn’t mean technologies and expertise can’t be combined to create a realistic experience of what living on Mars could be like.

An HP Mars Home Planet finalist’s rendering of what living on Mars might look like. (Image courtesy of HP.)
An HP Mars Home Planet finalist’s rendering of what living on Mars might look like. (Image courtesy of HP.)

HP and NVIDIA have partnered to make a virtual reality (VR) tour of Mars real. At the 2018 SIGGRAPH conference, HP unveiled the results of the yearlong project, HP Mars Home Planet. The unique program brought together more than 90,000 creative and scientific professionals across a range of industries and countries to contribute their ideas of what 1 million humans living on a utopian Mars might be like.

“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 Darlene Lim, principal investigator at 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.”

The project had approximately 1,000 submissions for a Concept Challenge and 3D Modeling Challenge. The final phase of the project was selecting nine winners in a Rendering Challenge. The top ideas were then turned into a VR experience thanks to Technicolor, which created visuals for the experience using Epic’s Unreal Engine.

An HP Mars Home Planet finalist’s rendering of what living on Mars might look like. (Image courtesy of HP.)
An HP Mars Home Planet finalist’s rendering of what living on Mars might look like. (Image courtesy of HP.)

“The ultimate power for fully immersive VR experiences comes from the creative community and the computing process delivered by HP and our partners,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager of Z by HP. “HP’s technology leadership, rich history of product innovation, and understanding of the creative workflow is bringing amazing ideas to life.”

The result, which aired at SIGGRAPH, was the first six-degrees-of-freedom VR piece built for motion-enabled chairs using HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The one-of-a-kind experience begins with users entering a Martian Community Onboarding Center that It showcases innovations in architecture, engineering and transportation that could enable humans to live on Mars. A trailer can be watched here.


Others who read this also liked:

 

Recommended For You