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May 7, 2019

How Epic & ILM’s John Knoll Tried to Recreate the Moon Landing for Microsoft’s Build 2019 Keynote

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, space

In the end, it wasn’t meant to be. Microsoft had pulled out all the stops for its Build 2019 developer conference keynote on Monday morning. The company had partnered with Epic Games and Industrial Light & Magic chief creative officer John Knoll for a hugely ambitious demo of its Hololens 2 headset that aimed to recreate the Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 years after the fact, in mixed reality.

All had worked out well during multiple rehearsals over the last few days. But when Knoll and science journalist and “Man on the Moon” author Andrew Chaikin were set to go on stage on Monday, the demo just didn’t run. Microsoft stalled by extending its pre-show ImagineCup competition until the show’s moderator couldn’t think of any more questions to ask. Then Knoll and Chaikin went on stage, giving it one more go — and the mixed-reality overlays simply refused to appear.

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