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John Lewis brings Monty the Penguin to Google Cardboard

John Lewis Monty's Goggles

John Lewis and Samsung team up to create Monty's Goggles app on Google Cardboard featuring Monty the Penguin

John Lewis is joining forces with Samsung to bring its Monty the Penguin Christmas advert to life with the Google Cardboard app, Monty’s Goggles. Using Google’s makeshift virtual reality goggles and Samsung smartphones, shoppers will be able to explore “Monty’s Christmas”, an interactive story narrated by Dermot O’Leary, in a 360-degree panoramic world when they visit John Lewis stores around the country. 

The story features a number of different worlds for shoppers to interact with, from the icy Antarctic to the cosy living room of Monty’s owner, Sam, and you’ll need to use the goggles to look around and find books to travel from one scene to the next. 

If you can’t make it to a John Lewis shop to try it out, you’ll be able to download the Monty’s Christmas story to any Android or iOS device from Thursday or buy a physical copy of the book online right now. You won’t get the virtual reality experience, of course, but you will be helping John Lewis raise money for children’s charity Barnardo’s instead.

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John Lewis will also be offering customers the chance to have their own toys animated in 3D, which they can then interact with on a screen as a moving 3D image through the use of Microsoft’s Kinect 2 sensors. In order to bring the chosen toy to life, it will be photographed 17 times by three DSLR cameras to make sure they cover every angle. The images are then processed by one of Microsoft’s X1 custom built computers, which takes around 90 seconds. 

Monty’s Goggles and Monty’s Christmas are based off John Lewis’s new Christmas advert for 2014, which details the touching relationship between a boy and his penguin. According to The Telegraph, the advert cost £1 million to make, with a large part of the budget being spent on Monty’s CGI in order to make the Adélie penguin look as realistic as possible. 

Watch the advert in full below:

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