Walking on the moon: Building Samsung’s latest VR experience

Ad agency Iris and VFX company Framestore worked with NASA to create a 4D lunar gravity simulation for Samsung’s New York store. We talk to them about how it was done

On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Millions watched live on TV as he planted a US flag in the ground and declared the occasion a giant leap for mankind.

This week – on the 49th anniversary of the event – Samsung unveiled a virtual lunar experience at its 837 store in New York. The 4D VR experience places visitors on the surface of the moon, where they can view the earth from afar, peer into a giant crater and plant a custom flag in the ground before posing for a quick space selfie.

The experience responds to real-life movement and simulates the gravity conditions on the moon. Users are given a jumpsuit and attached to a rig via a harness, which calculates their weight and offsets it by 83%. Each time they bounce in the harness, they will also take a step forward in VR, and will feel almost weightless as they do it.