Samsung and EarthX have debuted a dozen immersive short films on the Samsung XR video platform from environmentally-focused filmmakers, with more to come.

Samsung XR is Samsung’s immersive video platform, and home to more than 10,000 videos. This week the platform is adding new section of environmentally-focused 360 short films in partnership with EarthXR, the interactive arm of EarthX, an environmental non-profit.

Image courtesy Samsung, EarthXR

The EarthXR section on Samsung XR debuted this week with 12 free 360 short films which can be viewed in web browsers, on iOS or Android, or immersively through the Samsung XR app on Oculus (Rift, Quest, Gear VR), Windows Mixed Reality, and Daydream.

“This channel gives home audiences the opportunity to join conservationists at whale rescues, African elephant sanctuaries, and surfing trips in the most stunning and remote places on earth,” says Tiffany Kieran, EarthXR Director of XR Programming & Partnerships. “We get to show audiences not only the beauty of nature but inspire support for pressing current issues, like firefighters taking on wildfires and Indigenous communities in the Amazon protecting their land from deforestation.”

Ranging in length from four to 17 minutes, the 360 short films cover topics like conservation, climate change, humanitarianism, and humankind’s connection to nature:

Guardians of the Kingdom

In the waters of Tonga, a kingdom once torn apart is now reconnecting whales to humans for a future together in the place they all call home. There, a dramatic legacy inherited by a mother is passed onto future generations. Narrated by “Her Deepness” National Geographic Explorer – Sylvia Earle

Ghost Fleet VR

Ghost Fleet VR immerses viewers in the true story of slavery in the Thai fishing industry. Based on the feature documentary, Ghost Fleet, which exposes the dark side of illegal fishing and the heroes working to end it. Enter the heroic story of Tun Lin, who was kidnapped when he was 14. He retraces his ordeal, years of horrific treatment on board the slave ship, and his brave escape from a prison made of water.

My Africa

Narrated by Academy Award-winning Actress Lupita Nyong’o, My Africa takes viewers to an elephant sanctuary in Kenya, where a community is creating a place where humans and animals can once again coexist.

Valen’s Reef

Valen’s Reef is a touching, immersive VR film that shares the wonder of some of Earth’s most beautiful reefs through the eyes of West Papuan fisherman-turned-coral-reef-scientist and conservationist, Ronald Mambrasar, and his 8-year-old son, Valen. Together, they take viewers on an underwater journey among the region’s stunning sea life, including manta rays and sharks. Ronald shares how his people have reclaimed their ancestral waters, creating one of the world’s most successful community-based marine conservation projects.

Under the Canopy

The Amazon rainforest gives us air we need to survive and is our best hope in this time of climate change. With its second virtual reality film, Conservation International invites you to plunge through the forest canopy, meet Amazonia’s stunningly abundant wildlife and explore the jungle with Kamanja, a wise member of an indigenous community, which is uniquely able to protect such a vital place. Under the Canopy lets you see first-hand how protecting this forest means protecting our future.

Awakening: A Prologue to Nakuru Kuru

Experience the defining moments that propelled surf pioneer John Ritter to a lifetime of exploration and discovery; igniting a mission to return to the famed wave Cloudbreak, while protecting the ocean along the way. Journey down dusty Baja backroads en route to a sublime sunrise surf session, dive amongst thousands of Jackfish and enjoy a meditative campfire on a deserted beach – experiences that can be found by leaving it all behind in pursuit of a dream.

Tree Huggers

Climb to the top of Portland Oregon’s tallest tree in this immersive 360 experience, where the view is spectacular from the top of a towering 246’ Douglas Fir in Forest Park. Expedition Old Growth, a local company, takes participants of all ages on recreational tree climbs with the goal to help them experience, learn and appreciate the forest. Founder and owner of Expedition Old Growth, Damien Carre, explains how this life-changing experience works and why it means so much to him. As a skilled arborist, Carre has dedicated his life’s work to trees.

The Fire in our Backyard

The Columbia River Gorge is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most amazing natural wonders. To those of us in Oregon, it’s like our backyard. We spend our Summers backpacking, camping, hiking, fishing, paddling and kiteboarding there. When a destructive wildfire was started near the Eagle Creek Trailhead on Labor Day weekend of 2017, we all watched in shock and horror as nearly 50,000 acres in the gorge were engulfed in flames.

as it is

Journey down the mighty Colorado River to see the Grand Canyon as too few do, from the bottom looking up. Run it’s biggest whitewater rapids, explore its narrow slot canyons, and meet the indigenous activists working to protect it from a controversial development proposal that would bring as many as 10,000 people a day to the Confluence, one of the most sacred sites in the Canyon.

The Hydrous Presents: IMMERSE

The ocean is over exploited, under protected, and out of mind. Too few people have the opportunity to explore marine environments such as coral reefs, which are rapidly degrading. This 360/VR film is therefore designed to take the viewer on an immersive, underwater journey to generate awareness, scientific understanding, and empowerment to protect our beautiful and threatened ocean.

Guardians of the Forest

The Amazon is burning. Decades of environmental protections in Brazil have been undone and ecological devastation has accelerated at an unimaginable pace and scale. The Guardians of the Forest, a volunteer monitoring force of the Guajajara tribe, are the last line of defense for the rainforest in the heart of an industrialized Amazon. Led by activist Sônia Guajajara, this VR documentary brings audiences on a journey into her culture and on an expedition into the rainforest to bring illegal loggers to justice. Along the way, we gain deeper insight into the roots of the crisis and see the Guajajara vision for the future.

World Tour

Wild Immersion produces breathtaking 3D experiences, leveraging the best augmented-reality footage techniques and cutting edge immersive technologies, to plunge the spectators into a Nature 360° action film. The spectator experiences the feeling of being in the middle of the wilderness, discovering mind-blowing situations, like it would happen in real life. This trailer is an extract of our movie, “World Tour”, it will take you around the world’s vibrant landscapes and ecosystems.

EarthXR is part of EarthXFilm, the film arm of EarthX and an environmental film festival which coincides with the annual EarthXExpo. The group’s goal is to “turn awareness into action through art and interactive media.”

On the new EarthXR section on Samsung XR, EarthxFilm President Michael Cain says “Samsung has been with us from the start of our festival and have been incredible supporters as we bring these important, topical projects to viewers everywhere. We are grateful for their ongoing commitment to using technology for good.”

More short films planned to debut later this year in the EarthXR on the lead up to the annual EarthX Expo in April.

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  • Mark

    Anyone know were is the Facebook/red camera never heard anything since Oculus connect 2018

    • Nice

      They released a paper at last siggraph about 3d camera that captures 6dof scenes, want a link?

  • Xron

    We need 4k/4k displays for high fidelity media consuming….
    Now when I try to watch 360on my rift or quest, its still not up for the task…
    I would love to see 360videos that would look like atleast true 1080p res on monitor…

    • sfmike

      There are already transcoding and delivery technology out there like Visbit but although they work well they are expensive and proprietary and have unfortunately been slow to catch on.

    • Nice

      Have you tried 6k 180° 90fps VR porn? With 360 videos the issue is video resolution and bitrate, IMO not hmd resolution. We need viewport streaming going mainstream, so far only porn industry does that.

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