The Open University and Powster partner launch ‘Habitat Explorer AR’

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The Open University and Powster partner launch ‘Habitat Explorer AR’

London, UK, 14th November 2023 – The Open University and creative studio Powster, a Vista Group brand, have launched a new augmented reality digital activation and educational resource in support of the series premiere of the BBC and The Open University’s co-production Planet Earth III. 

Aimed at UK audiences to support The Open University’s available learning materials, ‘Habitat Explorer’ allows fans to scroll to various parts of the globe and bring three distinct habitats to life through the magic of WebAR, powered by 8th Wall and designed, modelled, animated, and developed in-house by Powster. 

The visual details of the 3D animals and their animated idiosyncrasies offer a closer look at the animals featured in Planet Earth III and accurately educates users about them in their environment, while staying true to the paper aesthetic of the origami style featured on printed assets.
“Habitat Explorer is the culmination of our efforts to bring learning experiences into people’s homes in an engaging and innovative way,” says Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast and Partnerships at The Open University.
“Expertise from Dr Miranda Dyson and Dr Vicky Taylor from our STEM faculty allowed Powster to translate fascinating details about these animals and their habitats into a rich and informative experience that successfully delivers the surprise and delight we wanted to achieve. We’re thrilled to see fans of Planet Earth III and their families exploring the worlds of these amazing animals together.”
Michelle Stevens, Commerical Director at Powster, said the project has been rewarding. “It’s been exciting to know that not only are we supporting the learning educational objectives of The Open University to bring these habitats to life, but we are also introducing the magic of AR to the BBC’s audience via this easily accessible and deeply engaging activation.”  

Users can explore anything from a forest in South America, to a turtle sanctuary in Australasia and a European grassland through the lenses of their own smartphones or tablets, with no specialised app downloads or equipment required.  At the end of the journey, users can choose their favourite habitat, which they can personalise and share to social media in a pledge to help save the planet.  

Habitat Explorer is being promoted via a dedicated call-to-action from Sir David Attenborough at the end of each BBC Planet Earth III episode across its eight-week run. Click the link here to check out the habitats, make your pledge and download your free info pack from The Open University.