For Dolby's ongoing site-specific installations at its unique gallery space in San Francisco, GMUNK and Tool of North America created an augmented reality audiovisual quest across the stars. Asteria, inspired by Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and cosmic mythology, consists of a 3-act, mobile AR experience for iOS devices synchronized with a 12 minute film that plays on loop on the gallery’s 64-foot LED wrap around wall.
Inspired by the Dolby Gallery itself, Munky and Tool of North America worked to design an AR experience that pairs with the big screen, coupling the two platforms to create this immersive space exploration. Putting the user in the stereoscopic transmissions of the “xO-9 probe” explorer, they’re taken to three different worlds in the year 2027, each world in a different state of worldly evolution; each corresponding to a unique epoch in Earth’s own development.
After giving thought to the space, Munky (GMUNK) decided to pair the screen with an AR experience, using the screen as a backdrop and the source of life and sound for the installation. The smartphone thus becomes an extension of the story that is being told by the film.
In order to create the best experience for the user and to create a smooth transition between worlds and storylines, Munky designed the AR app to pair with the Dolby screen content. By using a remote server to track time-code sync, the AR app on the user’s mobile device is able to detect where the user is within the gallery film, allowing it to stay synced with their location within the film so each act is experienced in a perfect sequence.
In 2027, the xO-9 probe became the first lunar launch module to maintain contact with NASA after successfully jumping an interstellar gate.
Radio contact after the black hole transit located the ship 2 million light years from Earth, near a cluster of exoplanets called Macaca Fascicularis, on the edge of galaxy Andromeda.
Equipped with the most advanced HDR imaging and sound-capturing technologies, xO9’s mission is to navigate, observe, and transmit stereoscopic images from deep space. The Macaca cluster is of particular interest because each planet has it own orbital sun - and in one case, suns.
More astonishing is the discovery that each planet exists in a different state of worldly evolution; each corresponding to a unique epoch in Earth’s own development. And one that may even foreshadow our own uncertain future.
These holographic broadcasts represent the first time humans can experience space as if they are window-seat passengers in an explorer probe. The xO-9 transmissions - miniaturized for viewing as observable micro-universes - create a dimensional experience for the viewer. Like galactic mobiles that float in space wherever the viewer chooses to call them up.