If you’re looking for an example of how cutting-edge high-tech innovation can sit alongside a social conscience, look no further than today’s World Economic Forum in Davos–where the world’s first virtual reality film made specifically for the United Nations, using the Oculus 3-D platform, has been making waves.
Entitled Clouds Over Sidra, the VR film follows 12-year-old Sidra, a refugee from the Za’atari camp in Jordan, which houses 84,000 refugees from the Syrian civil war.
While documentaries may be able to present you with the facts, Clouds Over Sidra goes one step further by granting viewers a truly immersive VR look at a reality that many of us are unable to imagine being a part of.
“The idea is to help generate empathy toward the 3.5 million Syrian refugees living outside Syria,” producer Socrates Kakoulides told TechCrunch, adding that he hopes it will prompt us to take action as a global community.
The film is available from today, for the VRSE channel on Milk VR USA (think YouTube for virtual reality), and the VRSE application for iTunes and Google Play. Although it’s designed for Oculus 3-D, it’s also possible to view it using smartphone-aided viewing setups like Google Cardboard.
The idea of using Oculus or other virtual reality technologies to transport us to other places isn’t new, but it is only now that its use for humanitarian causes is starting to be explored.
Let’s hope it continues–and that it helps prompt responses that don’t just stay in the virtual world.