Russia's S7 Airlines has been letting Russians explore remote parts of the planet via an interactive experiment with a "space rover" named Earth7.
Participants were able to explore a remote secret location seated in front of a huge screen transmitting Earth7's live location. They could remote control the 75-kg aluminium machine with just a flick of their hand thanks to a high-speed data connection and kinetic armband.
To gamify the experiment, each participant driving the rover had the opportunity to win return tickets for two to any S7 destination worldwide, if they could collect three samples of life on Earth. Over 50 samples were rendered on top of the rover's live video stream in a dynamically generated gaming interfaceand each player pilot had 90 seconds to find their first sample, followed by a minute to find the second and, if successful, another minute to find the last and win a golden ticket.
Developed by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam and ISD Group, a team of robot technicians, experts on new technologies, programmers, engineers and industrial designers, Earth7 is part of S7's ongoing campaign themed "The Best Planet." This has already included a TV ad, which offers views of Earth from space, narrated by Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko.
Evgeny Primachenko, W+K Amsterdam creative director, said in a statement: "We built the Earth7 rover to give people a chance to travel without travelling. Rovers traditionally explore far away planets, however for most Russians our own planet is still untraveled. Through this interactive experience we wanted to inspire people to experience the world themselves, and remind us all that there's a beautiful planet out there just waiting to be explored."