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Time Immersive App Launches With Moon Landing AR Experience

Janko Roettgers

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Time launched a new mobile app for immersive journalism Thursday, complete with an augmented reality experience that visualizes the moon landing in a user’s living room. “Landing on the Moon” has been produced with help from Industrial Light & Magic chief creative officer John Knoll, who has been researching the Apollo 11 mission for close to 2 decades.

The new Time Immersive app, which is available for free for iOS and Android, is meant to be the new home for augmented and virtual reality experiences from Time’s visual storytellers. “We are putting a stake in the ground with AR and establishing the level of immersive journalism that Time will continue to bring to our readers,” said Time’s editorial director of enterprise and immersive experiences Mia Tramz.

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“Landing on the Moon” allows mobile phone users to watch a tabletop recreation of the moon landing in AR mode. This includes both the landing procedure itself, complete with original audio from the 50 years ago, as well as a way to accompany Neil Armstrong as he took his first steps on the lunar surface.

The experience has been co-produced by Time, mixed reality agency Trigger, John Knoll, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office, Ryot and Yahoo News.

Knoll’s involvement in the project was key to achieving scientific accuracy; ILM’s chief creative is a known moon buff who began researching the Apollo 11 mission soon after its 30th anniversary, when he found a website with raw telemetry data from the moon landing. “I found it really gripping,” Knoll recalled in a recent interview with Variety.

This research was also part of an ambitious HoloLens demo of the moon landing, which Knoll produced together with Epic Games and Microsoft.

Time’s  “Landing on the Moon” experience isn’t the only mobile AR recreation of the moon landing. USA Today and Florida Today kicked off an AR live stream of a real-time recreation of the mission earlier this week as part of their 321 Launch app, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library’s Moonshot AR app has been doing a similar AR broadcast that will last 120 hours, and culminate with the moon landing on 7/20.

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