Wednesday, 02 August 2017 01:16

VIDEO: HP uses virtual reality to go to Mars and imagine life

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The “HP Mars Home Planet” experience teams up with partners on a global co-creation project to imagine what a human population of one million could look like on Mars.

HP and Nvidia have teamed up with Autodesk, Fusion, Launch Forth, Technicolor, Unreal Engine and VIVE to launch HP Mars Home Planet – which it says is “a global project using virtual reality to simulate what a human population of one million could look like on Mars".

From “buildings, vehicles, farms and clothing”, we’re told this “co-creation project of professional creatives from around the world explores how life could be sustained on the red planet given its climate and atmospheric challenges".

HP explains how its Mars Home Planet project “advances work initially done for Mars 2030, a virtual reality experience created by Fusion with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Now, HP and its partners are uniting engineers, architects, designers, artists and students to imagine, design and experience humanity’s future on Mars through VR.”

Josh Peterson, vice-president of product management for workstations at HP Inc, said: “In 2016, we conquered the International Space Station with our HP ZBook Workstations, powered by NVIDIA Quadro graphics, and now we have our sights set on Mars.

“Through HP and partner technology, we are unleashing engineers, architects, designers and students to help anticipate and solve the real world problems we’ll face to inhabit Mars one day.”

Here’s some video of the Mars 2030 project:

Naturally, the project looks beyond 2030, to a time HP says is “in the future where there are families and communities living on Mars. The goal of the project is to engage creative thinkers to solve some of the challenges of urbanisation on the red planet. Ultimately, through the VR experience, people here on earth will be able to experience what life on Mars might be like".

We’re told that “the three phases of the year-long programme start with the Home Planet’s Mars Urbanisation Challenge, where participants will focus on transportation and infrastructure concepts for a specific location".

HP says “NASA identified Mawrth Vallis — Mars Valley in Welsh — as a potential landing site on Mars. Following the concepting phase, 3D modelling and rendering will be completed – resulting in a virtual reality experience of life on Mars".

HP and Nvidia brought the HP Mars Home Planet to life with the help of the aforementioned Autodesk, Fusion, Launch Forth, Technicolor, Unreal Engine and VIVE companies.

The companies explain that “participants of the project will use best-in-class Autodesk software to make anything – from 3D models of Martian buildings and cities to vehicles and infrastructure. With creative and technical leadership from Technicolor, creators will then use Unreal Engine to create a virtual reality simulation of what life on Mars could be like for one million people".

“The environment will build on Mars Valley terrain from Fusion’s “Mars 2030” game, which is based on NASA research.”

HP Mars Home Planet is part of HP’s newly announced VR strategy which the company says is “focused on enabling brands to reimagine how they innovate and engage customers".

If you want to join the HP Mars Home Planet mission and begin the first phase of the Mars Urbanisation Challenge, you can click here to get started.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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