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The Green Planet AR Experience
Through the magic of augmented reality, we set out to create an experience that allows the user to accompany Sir David Attenborough on an immersive journey into the secret kingdom of plants. Inspired by the BBC series, you can now explore our green planet as you never have before in this groundbreaking free experience.
Augmented Reality Experience. Natural History
UK Government, Department of Culture, Media and Sport

Travel through five digitally enhanced worlds including tropical jungles, water worlds, desert landscapes and the changing seasons, as you explore our green planet as never before.

A mobile phone becomes your dynamic window into the secret kingdom of plants. Discover the world of plants on their timescale and from their perspective. You’ll see that plants can be as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as any living thing on the planet, while also discovering how they form intriguing relationships with animals. They are vital for the future of our planet

This award-winning project was inspired by the BBC series.

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Behind the scenes
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  • This AR experience required world-first technological testing to achieve its goals. Filmed with the additional challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, Talesmith filmed Sir David Attenborough in a bespoke 'volumetric capture' studio. 70 carefully rigged cameras were set against green-screen in a cylindrical structure in order to create a fully rendered 3D hologram.
  • Cutting-edge botanical research was supported by Kew Gardens.
  • The project required unprecedented high resolution and processing power, supplied by EE 5G's launch and the UK government creative funding support
  • The immersive event became a headline news story in central London. The experience was based in Piccadilly Circus, attended by multiple high profile celebrities and journalists. Sir David Attenborough took over the giant LED screens for the first time in his career.
  • 10,000 tickets were snapped up within hours of release, with the final batch taken in less than 30 minutes. This was all without any traditional advertising
  • The project achieved an audience approval rating of 96%, making it the UK’s number one immersive experience as surveyed by independent researchers StoryFutures.
  • The location used in Piccadilly Circus had sustainability at its heart. Structures were created from reused and recyclable materials. The rainforest plants were kept alive and returned to the ground. There were no single-use plastics on-site and even the brand ambassador T-shirts were recycled. All signage was made from wood harvested from fallen trees.
  • The project was led by Factory 42 in a unique collaboration for the UK government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It was run purely on a 5G network to help prove the capabilities of the technology.

Produced by FACTORY 42 with partners Talesmith, BBC Studios, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, EE, Dimension Studios and The Royal Estate.

Step inside the virtual green planet