The facility’s 360° theater, virtual reality and augmented reality experiences will bring people closer than ever to endangered gorillas
Today, immersive studio Habitat XR announces the inauguration of the Irmelin DiCaprio Theater and the launch of two additional immersive experiences which bring visitors to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s new Ellen DeGeneres Campus in Rwanda within inches of Africa’s endangered mountain gorillas – albeit digitally – without impacting their natural environment.
Built as part of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s new permanent home in Rwanda, and with support from Ellen DeGeneres’s The Ellen Fund, and investment from Leonardo DiCaprio, the theater can display 360° films in 25K resolution. Developed from the ground up by the Habitat XR team, the theater is controlled entirely on an app and has been built to screen ultrawide 16:1 footage – or “superpanoramic” films – upscaled using AI technology. The theater’s eight daisy-chained 4K laser projectors display 50 million pixels onto a 140 x 8ft canvas, constructed using high-contrast film stretched over a custom-made 3D printed frame. This is complemented by a 10.2 matrix surround sound system, which features 37 individual speakers and two amplifiers as well as more than 2000 square feet of acoustic sound paneling designed and fabricated by the team to absorb reverb and allow the spatially-captured sounds of the forest to engulf audiences.
“At Habitat XR, we believe immersive experiences can go far beyond entertaining audiences,” said Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, Habitat XR CEO. “That’s why we are so excited for audiences to visit the Irmelin DiCaprio Theater. Our dream is for the theater, and our other XR experiences on the campus, to bring people closer to gorillas than ever before; to fill them with empathy and understanding and to inspire them to take action.”