At 103 years old, Lt. Jim Downing is one of the oldest living survivors of Pearl Harbor, the legendary attack that brought the U.S. into World War II.
In preparation for the upcoming 75th anniversary of the tragic event, HTC Corporation and Time Inc.’s LIFE VR announced the launch of “Remebering Pearl Harbor,” a gripping commemorative journey through the experience as told by Lt. Downing.
“As a postmaster of the USS West Virginia, Lt. Downing had a unique experience in this pivotal moment in history that we’ve brought to this piece,” explains Mia Tramz, Managing Editor of LIFE VR. “We’ve created this app with the hope it will bring a new understanding of this event to even the most enthusiastic history buffs.”
The content was created to be both rich and accurate, with an emphasis on informative and enriching content triggered through interaction with objects in VR environments. Viewers first experience key moments in the days after the attack through the eyes and ears of an average American in 1941. Ultimately they find themselves in the attack’s devastating immediate aftermath, where 2,403 Americans lost their lives, as they listen to moving accounts from Lt. Downing. Throughout the experience, users interact with realistic versions of artifacts from the time, along with iconic photography and archival video, providing a unique and personal view of one of the modern world’s most defining events.
There are a number of ways to view the experience. “Remebering Pearl Harbor” is available now for the Vive virtual reality system at Viveport (www.viveport.com). In the coming weeks, it will be released on LIFE VR, Time Inc.’s virtual reality app for iOS and Android.
In addition, two major museums commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack will bring the experience to the public: Newseum in Washington D.C. (December 5-11) and Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City (December 6-7).