11th December 2020
Here at plan8 VR we became interested in the monolith story from the very start. On the 18th of November 2020 the first monolith was spotted in Utah and since then it has caught the imagination of millions of people around the globe, the idea has spread like wild fire and they have started sprouting up all over the planet.
Perhaps the reason for the monolith’s relevancy is because we are in the year 2020, all living through a global pandemic and all experiencing a time of great change and uncertainty. In Stanley Kubrick’s film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ the monolith represents an epic transition in the history of human evolution. It also appears to be a source of great knowledge, when an ape holds out his hand and touches it his understanding of the world is transformed.
We had the idea to build our own monolith as a way of showcasing some of the skills and ideas that we have here at Plan8. We saw early on that the monoliths, while being applauded by most people, had the issue of being destructive when erected on sights of natural beauty. We thought it would be good to come up with a non-destructive solution for our monolith’s construction. Through using 3d modelling and augmented reality we were able to do this without causing any damage ancient protected site.
We set to work to create some CGI footage of a monolith in the Neolithic age stone circle called ‘The Merry Maidens’ in West Cornwall. This seemed like the natural place for a futuristic monolith from space to land. We couldn’t but help feel slightly guilty at the thought of creating hoax footage and disappointing people. This is when we came up with the idea of creating an AR monolith in the centre of the stone circle that people could view through their phones in real time. This was initially done by leaving a QR code on a flat slate in the centre of the stone circle which the general public could scan with a smart phone camera. We later felt that even this simple slate wasn’t fully in keeping with our “Leave No Trace” ethos, so we made a standalone AR model that can be viewed anywhere.
On any modern smart phone, click the applicable Apple or Android icon below and follow the instructions on your phone.