Cancer Research UK will display a virtual reality garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this month. The VR experience has been created by Atomic London and creative studio Rushes, to celebrate and thank over 100,000 people who have left a gift in their Will to the charity. The “Life Garden” will be a physical installation at the flower show, which runs from 5th to 10th July, with people transported to a seemingly endless field of flowers after donning an Oculus Rift headset. The immersive experience will feature more than 100,000 flowers bearing the names of supporters who have remembered the charity by leaving a legacy gift.
“Using this exciting technology alongside a bright and beautiful physical garden is a wonderful way to thank and celebrate every generous supporter”
The experience, produced by the VR team at Rushes, runs using software platform Unity, which is traditionally used for developing games and interactive content, and has a powerful set of features for controlling, navigating and interacting with objects in real-time 3D environments. This allows for flexibility and control over the whole experience from beginning to end, including when and where certain events occur, and how the user interacts with the experience. It also allows for sound to be positioned in a 3D space to give the user an added level of immersion.
Guy Bradbury, Founding Partner and Executive Creative Director at Atomic London, said: “Virtual reality is too often used as a gimmick; to make people feel like they’re on a roller-coaster or walking through a fantasy world. With the Life Garden we’ve created something that emotionally engages and moves people by starting with the idea and using the technology as the most suitable channel, rather than starting with the technology and trying to work backwards.” Andy McNamara, Rushes Head of CG and Immersive, added: “It was a pleasure for us at Rushes to work in collaboration with Atomic and Cancer Research UK and push the envelope of what can be achieved with this new medium for a cause that is very close to many of us. It demonstrates how VR and immersive technology, when used effectively, can produce a powerful emotional response from an audience – something we are only now starting to explore fully."
“Atomic London has delivered an incredibly moving experience that demonstrates Cancer Research UK's appreciation to all those who have supported us with a legacy gift”
Following its launch at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower show, the virtual garden will also be on display at a number of locations around the UK at specially designed “Tribute Events.” These events will give family and friends the chance to experience the virtual reality garden as well as the opportunity to come together and celebrate the progress Cancer Research UK has made thanks to these generous gifts.