Engineer, Acoustic Researcher
Ten years ago, after a life-changing experience with a pod of whales, Fabrice Schnoller, a French engineer, freelance biologist and acoustic researcher founded the Darewin Project: a research program dedicated to whales and dolphins communication.
Using freediving (diving without oxygen) to capture 360° underwater video and audio to analyse these intelligent creatures’ behaviours, Fabrice and his associates at Click Research invented breakthrough virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) tools and set the standards for new research and media paradigms.
The project’s main endeavour was to understand these smart species, their dialects and communications attempts with humans, as well as sharing the experiences and emotions of their eye-to-eye encounters through virtual reality.
The data collected is available in an open-source platform and free-of-charge to scientists, and professional researchers interested in the better understanding of cetacean echolocation and click communication.
Darewin Project’s recent collaboration with the New York Times Op-Doc series, Vrse.works and Annapurna Pictures resulted in the production of The Click Effect, one of the first VR films to be shot directly underwater capturing the freediving experiences in the oceans with whales and dolphins. Created based on a book “Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves” by journalist James Nestor and filmmaker Sandy Smolan, the film was selected for screening at the Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes film festivals.