Member Press Releases

Alchemy Immersive and David Attenborough Bring Extinct Animals Back to Life in Museum Alive AR

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Press Team

24 Feb 2021 | 5 min read

Museum Alive Now Available in the App Store

London, February 2021 – Bring long-extinct animals to life in your own home with the new Museum Alive app. In a continuation of his BAFTA-winning Museum Alive film, follow David Attenborough as he leads audiences through this unique experience that promises to educate and entertain all audiences. Museum Alive sees iPhone users of all ages learn about prehistoric life in ways never experienced before, utilising the latest Augmented Reality and spatial audio technology.

Open the app to discover three photorealistic fossils of long lost animals. Choose a creature and experience your room transforming into their world through your iPhone camera. Meet the bizarre Opabinia, a 300 million-year-old fish-like creature with five eyes and a trunk. Fly around your room with the early pioneering flying dinosaur, Diamorphodon, as it hunts down a fluttering dragonfly. Spy on a fearsome sabre-toothed tiger, Smilodon, as the deadly animal stalks its prey.

Learn about prehistoric life and the natural history of our planet in information-rich packs full of unique images and videos spanning several award-winning David Attenborough productions. This e-learning experience engages both adults and children in scientific debates about how these animals looked and behaved, and the story of our planet over millions of years. Museum Alive is a genuinely unique experience that blends entertainment and learning to create a new type of remote education that captivates the whole family.

Produced using Unity’s latest AR Foundation technology, which enables developers to build augmented reality apps and deploy them across a variety of platforms, Museum Alive brings virtual worlds into your home in unparalleled quality. Built using scientifically accurate 3D models and animation, it provides a unique window into the life of the extinct through accurate skeletons, behaviours and mannerisms. With environments built using photogrammetry, each virtual diorama pushes the boundaries of real-time computation on mobile devices, redefining the user experience for immersive applications when combined with a full 3rd order ambisonic sound design.

Unity is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D content. Right now, using Unity, creators can build experiences in augmented reality bringing interactive experiences to life with tools like AR Foundation.

Anthony Geffen, CEO and Creative Director at Atlantic Productions
“Working with David on our BAFTA award-winning film David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive, we were totally on the cutting edge of 3D. Now we take the user on a new magical journey. Using the very latest technology we bring to life some of David’s favourite extinct creatures and their worlds in a completely different way. In this Augmented Reality experience, the team is breaking new frontiers in immersive storytelling.”

Elliot Graves, Creative and Technical Lead at Alchemy Immersive
“We’re so proud to launch an app that can genuinely contribute to educating and inspiring children using immersive technologies. At a time when so many children are disengaged with learning, we really hope the excitement of bringing fossils to life in the home will provide a novel experience that showcases the potential of immersive story-telling within education. We are particularly proud of the app’s visual quality and our distinctive approach to 3D menu design. Above all, though, David Attenborough’s captivating stories bring an infectious liveliness to this immersive experience that instantly makes it cinematic. You just won’t forget what it’s like to have a Sabre-tooth tiger prowl across your floor before pouncing on its prey – and we can’t wait to share what it’s like.”

David Attenborough, commenting on the original 3D film “Natural History Museum Alive” and iPad experience
“It’s really exciting to take these stories and bring them to a new young audience via a digital platform which allows you to explore these extraordinary extinct creatures in a way people have never been able to before.” “I hope that it will make people think about these extinct creatures differently.”

Museum Alive was produced by Alchemy Immersive, in collaboration with Atlantic Productions. Suitable for iPhone 8 upwards, including the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 12 on iOS 13 and iOS 14.

Join David Attenborough and discover prehistoric life in ways never experienced before, only possible through the power of augmented reality. Available in the iOS App Store from 24th February 2021. Find out more here.



About Alchemy Immersive
Alchemy Immersive is an award-winning immersive production studio. Their mission is to create compelling, immersive experiences like no one else. They create breathtaking experiences through a combination of storytelling and technical innovation covering Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Projection Mapping, App Development and even AI. Their groundbreaking work was recognised with the first BAFTA awarded to a VR production for David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef. Alchemy’s potential is reinforced by its extraordinary access to IP that includes Stephen Hawking, RMS Titanic and Sir David Attenborough. Alchemy’s work has been displayed on a diverse range of globally established platforms; from famous cultural institutions such as London’s Science Museum and Sydney’s Australian Museum to platforms such as Sony Playstation VR. Most recently the Alchemy team produced the first 8K 3D immersive media VR delivery for the launch of Oculus Quest 2 with the award winning five-part series “Micro Monsters” with David Attenborough.

About Atlantic Productions
Founded in 1992, Atlantic is respected for its unparalleled access and world-class storytelling. Their diverse output includes history, science, natural history, current affairs, observational, music, arts and drama content. They create outstanding cross-platform content across four dedicated companies, recognised by over 50 international awards, including multiple British Academy Awards and Emmy Awards for projects such as Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough. Seen by over a billion people in 150 countries across the globe, their productions are varied both in platform and in scope. Their output includes eleven projects with David Attenborough such as BAFTA award-winning Natural History projects, Flying Monsters & Museum Alive (Sky/IMAX) and David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef (BBC), Inside the Commons (BBC), Time Scanners (NatGeo), Apollo 11 (Discovery), Jerusalem, City of Heaven (Discovery) and the acclaimed theatrical film The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees (BBC) and The Coronation with Queen Elizabeth (BBC/Smithsonian).

About the author:

AIXR is an independent, community first, not for profit organisation that exists to support individuals and companies of all sizes as the International trade body for immersive technology industries. AIXR or, The Academy of International Extended Reality, hosts the VR Awards annually. AIXR’s mission is to support individuals and companies in the immersive industry by endorsing, inspiring, and enabling innovators through removing barriers to entry and connecting a diverse collection of trades together.

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