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How to explore the Natural History Museum with Sir David Attenborough in VR

Imagine being able to get up close with some of the most mind-blowing offerings from nature, including age-old fossils and your distant ancestors’ skulls. Then imagine doing it with Sir David Attenborough himself guiding you. Sky’s Hold The World experience is just that, offering a full VR tour through history on your mobile phone.

Sir David Attenborough has been shot with a digital laser and trapped forever in the world of virtual reality, for you to play with as you please. Okay, so that might not be strictly true. But he certainly has been re-created as a virtual holographic character that can guide you through a remarkable VR world, to educate and entertain.

Sky VR has teamed up with Sir David Attenborough to let you take a virtual tour around London’s Natural History Museum, with the great man himself as your personal guide. Here’s everything you need to know about the Hold The World VR experience, including how to enjoy it for yourself and when it’s available.

Read next: How VR on our mobile phones is set to evolve in 2017

What is the Sir David Attenborough Hold The World Sky VR experience?

The experience is called Hold The World and it was created by Sky to let you visit some of the Natural History Museum’s primary exhibits, guided by Sir David Attenborough. More importantly, anyone can do this at any time – really taking the load off David as a full-time museum tour guide, if nothing else.

This isn’t just a wander around the museum’s halls as David chats to you, though. The Attenborough hologram also gives you a hands-on experience with the exhibits. You’re guided around and led to items like fossils that you can virtually handle as you’re talked through the details. So this could actually be even more exciting than going to the real museum.

As the experience’s name suggests you’ll be able to not only hold objects from around the globe but tilt them, look inside, hold up close and more – as if really handling them. That means not only fossils but bones, skulls and more too.

What do you need to experience Hold The World in VR?

The whole Hold The World VR experience is one that will take place within the Sky VR app. This is a virtual reality platform with lots of movies, trailers, documentaries and more to enjoy right now.

The Sky VR app is available to download for free on Android and iOS devices. In order to take advantage of the virtual reality experience, you’ll of course need a VR viewer headset that your phone slips into. These are available for super cheap from the likes of Google Cardboard, with plenty of other variant options available too.

Check out our guide to the best VR headsets and how to get started with VR for all you need to know.

Sky VR also works with Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View experiences.

Check out our Sky VR review to learn more.

Is Hold The World a free experience?

The good news is you don’t need to shell out a penny to download the Sky VR app. So far, all the experiences on it have been free.

The Hold The World VR experience isn’t due out right now, but at the moment there’s no talk of starting to charge so you can breath easy.

When is the Hold The World VR release date?

Sky has said that Hold The World will go into production later this year. That suggests we’ve still got a while to wait, since production is just that start of the process.

Here’s hoping the years of experience between Sky and Sir David Attenborough mean this gets wrapped up quickly, so we can all enjoy taking a tour behind the closed doors of the virtual Natural History Museum soon.

What does Sir David Attenborough have to say about Hold The World?


“I have enjoyed helping people to discover more about the natural world, and Hold The World offers people a unique opportunity: to examine rare objects, some millions of years old, up close. It represents an extraordinary new step in how people can explore and experience nature, all from the comfort of their own homes and I am delighted to be able to help users uncover some of the treasures the Natural History Museum has to offer in a thrilling new way.”


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