The unknown of the Seine, a spatio-temporal investigation


Designed by Expérience 360, a virtual reality content creation company, the “L’inconnue de la Seine” (The unknown of the Seine) experiment offers us to immerse ourselves in an investigation into the discovery of a body of a woman fished out in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century whose strange smile frozen on her lips intrigued the investigators.

This experience depicts a true story that inspired Serge Gainsbourg to write a song “La noyée” (Drowned).

The story

A dead woman is found on the banks of the Seine. She spellbinds all the witnesses especially with the strange, enigmatic smile that froze on her lips at the moment of her death. The newspapers seek to uncover her identity, but no one comes to claim her. She is quickly nicknamed “The unknown of the Seine”.

The genesis of the project

With the growing success of escapes games, Anaïs Hakes had the idea of mixing virtual reality and a treasure hunt with the help of a specialist of the genre, Cyril Golovtchan, who founded the website more than 15 years ago.

Seeing the success of escapes games, I wanted to create a transverse project that would reach the general public from a novel and “Tech” side.

The project is being implemented today by three full-time staff and a few freelancers.

  • Cyril GOLOVTCHAN – Chasses aux énigmes
  • François BOUILLE and Anaïs HAKES – Expérience 360
  • Damien J.JARRY – teaser music
  • Nicolas ALBERNY – project post production

The project

Set up on the participative financing platform Ulule, “The unknown of the Seine” offers spectators a new experience subtly combining treasure hunt and virtual reality through 360° videos that are to be viewed in specific places and according to the players’ progress.

The main idea is to democratize virtual reality (for smartphones) with one or more experiments of this type, aimed at the general public. This is an opportunity for people who have never tried virtual reality to discover 360° immersion.

Public demos on Saint Louis island

To present the idea of the project, Expérience 360 organised a demo on Friday, June 23, on the island of Saint Louis. Further demos are planned for Friday 30 June as well as 7 and 14 July. You can register on the Facebook page of the event to participate.

Support the project on Ulule.