EXCLUSIVE: OTOY, Paramount Game Studios and The Gene Roddenberry Estate on Friday announced the launch of a Roddenberry Archive app for Apple’s new spatial computing platform, the Apple Vision Pro, which hits shelves today.
The app marks a major evolution of the project, preserving and celebrating the legacy of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, which had over 4 million visitors during a limited three-week preview online in April 2023. It promises to immerse Trekkies in nearly two hours of groundbreaking Star Trek spatial experiences built exclusively for the Apple Vision Pro, allowing them to explore hundreds of fully realized locations, artifacts and unique items — spanning every Star Trek TV show and film across the franchise’s nearly 60-year history.
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With only gaze and touch, Vision Pro users can transport themselves instantly through immersive 3D environments, traversing between different eras of Star Trek from “The Cage” pilot to the world of animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks. They can inspect each item on Captain Kirk’s shelf, take a seat at Quark’s bar on the Deep Space Nine Promenade, or launch a shuttle from the Enterprise-D’s hangar bay. With Apple SharePlay, a visit through the world of Star Trek can also become a shared social experience that can be livestreamed with friends and family.
Created exclusively for the Vision Pro app, a select number of Star Trek assets are available as downloadable holographic objects which can be placed in the user’s home environment. These models and sets can be shrunk or expanded from life size to dollhouse scales while rendering at a fidelity and quiescence never before possible on consumer hardware. Audiences can play with the size and scale of famed starship the USS Enterprise, enabling them to experience what it is like to walk around the original 11-foot physical USS Enterprise model on display at the Smithsonian, or have the in-universe 1:1 life size 1000-foot ship fly overhead.
OTOY concept videos and documentaries from recent Roddenberry Archive releases have been remastered specifically for the Vision Pro and are featured in the app along with newly restored footage from the Roddenberry Archive, including previews of the unabridged interviews with George Lucas and Stan Lee exploring Roddenberry’s influence on Star Wars and Marvel. Samples of OTOY’s many years of collaboration with leading creators are also included in the archive, including content done by OTOY in collaboration with Bruce Timm in 2014 for Batman: The Animated Series.
The app’s spatial content and streams were created by artists and studios using the Render Network and OTOY’s cutting-edge GPU rendering tools, bringing the highest levels of unbiased path-traced realism at unprecedented resolutions, powered by thousands of decentralized GPUs in the cloud. The app allows artists using OTOY’s tools to load their own immersive media creations on the Vision Pro and share it with others.
Featured in the Archive’s native Vision Pro spatial content are 1-meter by 1-meter light field cubes that are displayed at 90-frames-per-second in 4K resolution per eye, pushing the boundary on visual fidelity. Unbiased rendering and light field baking enable audiences to experience Star Trek worlds with fully path traced real time lighting, including dynamic glossy reflections and shadows, bringing new levels of photorealism to immersive content.
The Archive was developed using the Universal Scene Description format as part of OTOY’s membership in The Alliance for OpenUSD — a group formed by Pixar and Apple, among others — that is working to standardize the USD format across the industry to help artists and developers create and deploy complex real-time 3D experiences at scale.
“Through our multi-decade collaboration with OTOY, we have been working to push the frontiers of immersive technology to fulfill my father’s legacy, creative intent, and ideas in ways that can be experienced today and by generations yet to come,” said Rod Roddenberry, President of Roddenberry Entertainment, in a statement to Deadline. Roddenberry went on to state that the Archive for Apple Vision Pro is “a remarkable milestone in realizing my father’s vision for the Holodeck,” a fictional virtual reality technology from the Star Trek universe that uses holographic projectors and force fields to create realistic, interactive, and immersive simulations.
“This release also fulfills one of my mother’s greatest wishes. She recorded her phonemes in 2008 before her passing, to have her voice live on in posterity. It is deeply moving for me to be able to have her voice now narrate portions of the archive,” Roddenbery said. “I am also pleased that the archive can bring to life both published and unrealized influential narrative works from Star Trek‘s rich literary history, covering my father’s one and only Star Trek novel for the Motion Picture in 1979 through the decades of books and comics that subsequently followed.”
OTOY CEO Jules Urbach underscored that “through Apple’s breakthrough Vision Pro spatial computing platform, we can bring audiences back in time as if they were there on set during the making of Star Trek for the first time, with full visual immersion and historical accuracy.”
The Archive’s latest release of navigable spatial content can also be viewed online as a live 2D stream, with the complete experience to be available for free on both the web and the Vision Pro for a limited time. Later this year, OTOY and Paramount Game Studios will offer users unlimited viewing time and a-la-carte access to all current and future immersive Star Trek 3D experiences released through The Archive.
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