Is virtual reality the future of humanitarian causes?
The use of cutting-edge technologies for news is not a novelty. After all, CNN just signed a deal with the FAA and will begin using drones for newsgathering and reporting. The idea of using virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus 3-D platform to transport us to other places isn’t new either, but its use for humanitarian causes is starting to make waves.
Filmmaker Chris Milk is releasing a virtual-reality project in collaboration with the United Nations that explores the life of a 12-year-old Syrian at a refugee camp in Jordan. The project, called “Clouds Over Sidra”, is the first ever film shot in virtual reality for the United Nations, and is designed to go one step further than traditional documentaries by granting viewers a truly immersive VR look at a reality that many of us are unable to imagine being part of.
“The idea is to help generate empathy toward the 3.5 million Syrian refugees living outside Syria” – Socrates Kakoulides, producer of “Clouds Over Sidra”.
As a way to create empathy with a subject by highlighting the plight of refugees and vulnerable communities, the film is a powerful, immersive and deeply moving experience. Although it’s designed for Oculus 3-D, it’s also possible to view it using smartphone-aided viewing setups like Google Cardboard.
The project will make its debut at the World Economic Forum in Davos and on the VRSE app.