American Museum of Natural History's T. Rex VR Experience Comes to Viveport – Road to VR

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HTC and the American Museum of Natural History announced early this year that the Manhattan-based institution’s ‘T. rex: The Ultimate Predator’ exhibit was getting a VR experience that would let museum-goers collaborate to build a Tyrannosaurus rex bone-by-bone in virtual reality. Starting today, you can now jump into the app with your VR headset at home.

Update (July 22nd, 2019): Vive Studios and Vive Arts released their educational title, ‘T. Rex: Skeleton Crew’, to at-home Viveport members.

The app is available either through Viveport Infinity, the Netflix-style subscription service, or on the Viveport store for $5. The app is specifically targeted towards HTC Vive and Vive Pro headsets.

Original Article (March 6th, 2019): The experience, dubbed T. rex: Skeleton Crew, was created by the Museum’s Science Visualization team, Vive Studios, and Warsaw-based AR/VR studio Immersion. The project was also undersigned by Vive Arts, HTC’s program to help cultural institutions fund and develop VR installations.

T. rex: Skeleton Crew takes up to three visitors and places them in a virtual re-imagining of the Museum’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, where they will work together to build a T. rex skeleton bone-by-bone. Completing the dinosaur skeleton transforms it into a walking, breathing beast, while simultaneously the Hall transforms into T. rex’s Montana home circa 66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous Period.

In addition to the multiplayer VR experience, the museum will also be showing off life-sized reconstructions of T. rex at various life stages, which includes “the most scientifically accurate representation of T. rex to date, fossils and casts, large-scale projections and hands-on interactives to tell the amazing story of the iconic dinosaur,” HTC says in a blog post.

Now celebrating its 150th anniversary, T rex: The Ultimate Predator will be this year’s first major exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History.

“Virtual reality is a magical realm in which our human perceptions of time and space are suspended,” said Vivian Trakinski, the Museum’s director of science visualization. “In virtual reality, nothing is too small, too big, too fast, too slow, too distant, or too long ago to be appreciated. We hope this technology will let our visitors experience the most fantastic and inaccessible realms of nature.”

Vive Arts has seen several partnerships with museums all over the world since the program’s launch in 2017, including London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Modern, Taipei’s National Palace Museum, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, Washington D.C.’s Newseum, and St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum.

The T. rex exhibition will be open to the public from March 11th, 2019, to August 9th, 2020. A version of this VR experience will also be available on Viveport starting Summer 2019 (see update).

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