Take a Virtual Reality Trip to the Cambrian Explosion with David Attenborough | Smart News | Smithsonian
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An artist's rendition of the Cambrian seafloor (Walter Myers /Stocktrek Images/Corbis)

Take a Virtual Reality Trip to the Cambrian Explosion with David Attenborough

Admit it, virtual reality David Attenborough is something you've always wanted

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Virtual reality is slowly edging its way to market, with convincing applications for gaming, movies and even travel all in development. Now, video production company Atlantic Productions has launched their first foray into the virtual reality market. The company plans to produce educational non-fiction stories, and their first project will be hosted by none other than the legendary Sir David Attenborough. 

“Virtual reality is the next great technological advance,” Attenborough told Fast Company. “You don’t have a television set there at all, you actually really are there--inside a rainforest, diving in the ocean or exploring a pyramid, wherever you want to go.”

Attenborough’s first narration for virtual reality platforms will take people to the seafloor of an ocean during the Cambrian period, when many animal groups first appeared in the fossil record. 

Atlantic Productions' CEO Anthony Geffen told Fast Company that the first project would be an “on-rails” model, where the viewer is guided through the environment on a set track. You’ll still be able to explore the virtual world at certain places, but you won’t be able to wander off on your own. As the medium develops that could change, and Geffen says that they are already developing completely interactive worlds. 

It’ll be quite some time before you see any of their hard work though. The Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, two highly-anticipated virtual reality headsets, are still very much in development. But if you just can’t get enough Attenborough, and want to see some weirdly prehistoric-looking creatures on the seafloor, maybe this clip will help tide you over:

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