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D&AD award winning flagship launch product for Sky’s pioneering VR app, available to millions of customers in the UK and Eire


Sky, Natural History Museum, Sir David Attenborough


Future of Museums, Scientific storytelling, Interactive Virtual Reality, Volumetric Video, Photogrammetry, CT Scanning,


Interactive Virtual Reality, Volumetric Video, Photogrammetry, CT Scanning


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To give audiences a one on one audience with Sir David Attenborough in hidden rooms in London’s iconic Natural History Museum and enable priceless artefacts to come back to life

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Enjoy a one-on-one audience with Sir David Attenborough at the Natural History Museum in London with multi-award winning virtual reality experience Hold the World made for Sky VR.

The audience experience:

The ground-breaking interactive experience transports the viewer from the comfort of their own home to London’s Natural History Museum, where they can get their hands on rare specimens from its world-famous collection as they go behind the scenes to explore areas usually closed to the public.


Sir David, who was filmed by more than 100 cameras and digitally recreated as a lifelike 3D hologram for the experience, acts as a private guide, imparting his expert knowledge on a series of rare artefacts and objects from the museum’s collection, including a blue whale, a stegosaurus, a trilobite, a dragonfly, a butterfly and a pterosaur.


Audiences are able to look at ancient and delicate objects in a level of detail that has only been made possible through the technology of VR. They can virtually pick up, hold, enlarge and expand the rare objects, giving them unparalleled access to explore and understand some of the world’s rarest natural history specimens.

What Sir David said:

Sir David Attenborough said: ”Sharing my passion for the natural world is something I have done for many years through different technologies, from the days of black-and-white TV to colour, HD, 3D, 4K and now virtual reality. Hold the World is an extraordinary next step in how we can communicate and educate people about experiences they wouldn’t usually have access to in the real world. I am delighted about what users can learn and discover from the Natural History Museum’s treasures in this new VR experience - it really is one of the most convincing and bewitching experiences that the world of technology has yet produced.”

Behind the scenes of the Natural History Museum:

The experience lasts between 20 minutes and an hour, giving participants complete control over their journey. When entering, viewers can choose from a number of locations in the museum, such as the Conservation Centre, the Earth Sciences Library and the Cryptogamic Herbarium. In each of the locations, Sir David sits opposite the participant and invites them to examine and ‘handle’ several rare specimens. And in a series of ‘magic moments’, the objects also come ‘to life’, giving users a chance to learn more about the history and science behind them.  

The technology and innovation:

Hold the World was created using a variety of new technologies, combining them in a landmark way that has never previously been attempted. Photogrammetry was used to recreate the museum itself, whilst Sir David’s likeness as a hologram was created with more than 100 cameras using volumetric capture. The museum’s world-renowned CT scanning department then worked with museum scientists and animation teams to create a scientifically accurate model and animation for each specimen.

What the partners said:

“Sky is all about combining innovative technology with world-class entertainment and Hold the World is the epitome of this. It gives people unprecedented access to precious objects and specimens from the phenomenal blue whale to the impressive stegosaurus, with leading nature expert Sir David Attenborough as their guide - a ground-breaking, out-of-this-world experience and a new way we can all engage and learn from the world around us.”

Gary Davey, Sky’s MD of content

John Cassy, Factory 42 CEO and Executive Producer of Hold the World, commented: “Having the opportunity to create a unique interactive experience with Sir David Attenborough - no less - has been a privilege. Sky has always had an impressive commitment to innovation and we hope Hold the World gives their customers a priceless opportunity – the chance to have a one-on-one tutorial about the natural world from Sir David himself!” 


Hold the World’s factual content was led by the Natural History Museum‘s scientists, whose unparalleled knowledge means it includes the latest, most accurate and fascinating facts about the specimens featured.

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