Time says its AR depiction of Apollo 11 is the 'most accurate' yet

It's using NASA and Smithsonian data to depict the Moon landing.

Time is joining Google in marking Apollo 11's 50th anniversary using augmented reality, although this one is decidedly different -- and may be particularly valuable if you're a history buff. The magazine has introduced a Landing on the Moon AR experience in the Time Immersive app for iOS (coming shortly for Android astronauts; the experience is also available in Engadget sister company Yahoo News's app) that lets you relive the landing (complete with audio), explore the lunar surface and even stand next to Neil Armstrong while he plants the flag.

It's billed as the most accurate 3D recreation of the landing to date. Industrial Light and Magic's John Knoll reproduced the lander's flight path by sourcing NASA telemetry paths, with camera placement chosen by studying lunar landmarks. The visuals for the Moon, meanwhile, come from both Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data as well as computer vision techniques to insert minor details based on photographs. The app's immersive spatial sound design was done by Erik Lohr, RYOT's head of audio (RYOT is part of Verizon Media, Engadget's parent company). Armstrong's suit is a digitization straight from the Smithsonian.

This won't be the most dramatic Apollo 11 depiction when you're staring at your phone. However, the AR should give you a sense of presence that you wouldn't get just by watching a video. You can also expect more experiences like this. Time's Immersive app is only just getting started, and you'll see more definitive moments reproduced in AR well after Apollo 11's anniversary is over.

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