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Kavon Johnson, art director
Joe Moon, writer
David Waraksa, creative director
Josh Grossberg, group creative director
Dan Donovan/Vann Graves/John Mescall, executive creative directors
Sean Bryan/Tom Murphy/Eric Silver, chief creative officers
Eric Perini/Sebastian Savino, producers
Chance Bassett, senior producer
Nathy Aviram, executive producer
Christine Lane/Kathy Love, executive integrated producers
Eric David Johnson, executive integrated music producer
McCann New York, project design and development
Lockheed Martin, client

“This project defines magic and wonder, and it’s the first time a truly immersive virtual reality (VR) experience can be meaningfully shared amongst its participants. A perfect blend of content, hardware and experience design.” —juror Nathan Moody

“This project deftly skips the currently unsolved problem of ‘social VR’ by using the bus as an immersive environment. Instantly memorable and on point for the client. Imagine if every trip to school was more than a way to get from A to B.” —juror Keri Elmsly

Overview: It was the stuff of Elon Musk’s dreams. To capture its role in making manned travel to Mars a reality, technology company Lockheed Martin decided to inspire and prepare the people we’ll be sending there—today’s schoolkids—with a field trip to Mars. After Washington, DC–area students filled what they thought was an ordinary school bus, its windows transformed to reveal that it was anything but. As the Martian landscape surrounded them, the surprised riders whooped and pointed at another world, one unconstrained by headsets or goggles.

•The project is the first-ever shared group VR experience. 
•Two hundred virtual square miles of Mars surface were directly mapped to the streets of Washington, DC. 
•Unreal Engine 4 was used to render the Martian surface.

Comments by Josh Grossberg: 
How many videos, images and other media elements does the project have? “We started by creating 200 virtual square miles of the surface of Mars, which was directly mapped to the real streets of Washington, DC. The virtual experience showcased geological features, the Curiosity rover, a realistic base camp and even a massive Martian dust storm. And then we bought a school bus.”

Describe any special interactive features. “We completely gutted the bus to install our custom-built switchable electric glass screens—which transitioned from transparent to opaque—and paired them with 4K transparent LCD displays. We then re-outfitted the bus to make it look and feel like any other school bus.”

Are there any other technical features you’d like to call attention to? “By integrating our virtual Mars surface, custom screen technology, GPS, three-axis accelerometer, magnetometer and laser-surface velocimeter, the bus became our VR ‘headset,’ creating the first-ever headset-free group VR vehicle experience.” 


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