HP Inc. and a global community of creators today unveiled a groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) simulation of what life on Mars could look like for a human population of one million people. The HP Mars Home Planet program, led by HP and NVIDIA,® is the culmination of a year-long engagement with the creative community to simulate life on the Red Planet.
The program attracted over 90,000 creative professionals, architects, engineers and students spanning more than 150 countries. The most innovative ideas were brought to life through a VR experience created by Technicolor that premieres this week at SIGGRAPH, the world’s largest conference on computer graphics. T
“The ultimate power for fully-immersive VR experiences comes from the creative community and the computing process delivered by HP and our partners,” said Gwen Coble, director, Workstations, Thin Clients, Retail Solutions and Immersive Computing, EMEA, HP Inc. “HP’s technology leadership, rich history of product innovation and understanding of the creative workflow is bringing amazing ideas to life.”
The HP Mars Home Planet VR experience takes users through a Martian Community Onboarding Center, showing innovations in areas such as architecture, engineering and transportation that enable humans to make the leap to Mars. Technicolor developed the stunning visuals for the experience in Epic’s Unreal Engine, resulting in the first ever six-degrees-of-freedom VR piece built for motion-enabled chairs, using HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The environments and key assets from the VR experience will be released back to the creative community through an Unreal Engine download this fall.
“We are living in interesting times when technological advancement is being met by a broad array of foundational space science and planetary research—a confluence that will optimistically serve to accelerate our path toward human exploration and settlement of Mars,” said Dr. Darlene Lim, Principal Investigator, NASA Biologic Analog Science. “Today, people around the world are dreaming and innovating towards this future, and the amazing entries from the HP Mars Home Planet project’s creative community give us a virtual window into what life on Mars could be like for a million members of humanity.”
Universities and schools worldwide also took on the universe-changing effort of reinventing, designing and experiencing life in an urban area of Mars Valley in VR. Supported by HP technology and leaders in higher education, these institutions created teams as part of the Education League for HP Mars Home Planet. Ten universities in Europe and two universities in Australia competed in the project, with Japan conducting a separate contest with 110 submissions—judged separately—to select winners who submitted entries to HP Mars Home Planet.
HP Enhances Commercial VR Portfolio for Channel and Customers
Additionally, today HP announced enhancements to its game-changing commercial VR products and end-to-end VR solutions for workflow transformation. Details on HP’s advancements include:
- HTC Vive Pro will be added to HP’s head-mounted display (HMD) portfolio this September. Designed for demanding users, the VIVE Pro is a premium VR headset, offering a complete package of top-tier graphics, high-resolution audio and optimized ergonomics.
- PixoVR provides VR training solutions for the construction, manufacturing, energy and utilities verticals. Its fully immersive and interactive training helps boost learning retention and performance while reducing on-the-job errors and accidents through VR scenarios that can be both repeated and randomized.
- StarVR is adopting HP’s powerful VR hardware and its VR Backpack to showcase the new StarVR headset. This HMD with an industry-leading 210-degree field of view, integrated eye tracking, advanced optics and custom AMOLED displays is a premium VR headset built from the ground-up for enterprise and professional entertainment.
- The HP VR Launch Kit for Unreal Engine beta is now live and available for download at Epic.gm/HPvrkit. Addressing a range of cumbersome aspects of VR, the kit has been created to accelerate decisions by dramatically streamlining VR adoption, development and deployment for design visualization.
The expanded HP solutions are part of the company’s continued momentum in the commercial VR category. Recent examples include location-based entertainment activations with Dave & Buster’s Jurassic World VR experience and Noitom’s Alice Space Lunar Mission; an alliance with DiSTI to provide VR training solutions; and collaboration on a clinical trial with Firsthand Technology to help patients manage pain.
About HP Mars Home Planet
The global project, pairing co-creation with VR to simulate a utopian civilization on the Red Planet, received nearly 1,000 entries from the HP Mars Home Planet project’s participants. The final phase, culminated with nine winners of its Rendering Challenge. Previously announced were winners of the Concept Challenge and the 3D Modeling Challenge.
The winners of each phase were determined by public voting and an esteemed panel of judges, including: Dr. Robert Zubrin, President, Mars Society; Carla Swickerath, CEO, Studio Libeskind; Chris DeFaria, President, Dreamworks Animation Group; Stacy Wolff, VP Industrial Design, HP; Dr. Darlene Lim, Principal Investigator, NASA Biologic Analog Science; Dr. Sanjay Vijendran, Mars Mission, European Space Agency; John Spencer, Executive VP & Chief Designer, Mars World Enterprises; Hilda Espinal, CTO, Cannon Design; Jeff Mottle, CEO, CGarchitect; Andrew Rink, Marketing Strategist, NVIDIA; and Sean Young, Product Development & AEC, HP.
HP Mars Home Planet involved members of its Advisory Board, including Marcie Jastrow, SVP of Immersive Media and head of the Technicolor Experience Center; Ted Gagliano, president of Post Production for Twentieth Century Fox; Ted Schilowitz, futurist at Paramount Pictures; Jen Dennis, head of VR at RSA Films; and Joaquin Ruiz, Dean of the College of Sciences at the University of Arizona.
Advancing the work initially done for Mars 2030 – a VR experience created by Fusion with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – HP, NVIDIA® and Launch Forth teamed up with Autodesk, Unreal Engine, Fusion, HTC Vive, Microsoft, Chaos Group, Allegorithmic and Technicolor to bring HP Mars Home Planet to life.
The project is powered by Launch Forth, a product design platform powered by a robust co-creation community of designers, engineers and solvers. Allowing people everywhere to collaborate on ideas, solve problems and create solutions for challenges big and small, Launch Forth utilizes open innovation to accelerate the product development process.