Virtual reality (VR) has been a hyped technology since the 1980s, but it’s only really in the last few years that it has been brought down to earth to become an accessible and affordable tool.
Now, VR 2.0 is infiltrating the real world. Alongside fully VR headsets, head mounted displays like Google Cardboard are now available for a very low cost, so that anyone can easily plug a phone in and play a virtual reality video, game or app.
But even without the use of headsets, more and more people are experimenting with 360 content to stretch the limits of traditional filmmaking, as the cameras become cheaper and more widely available.
Now virtual reality and 360 or ‘spherical’ video are fast becoming popular tools in the charity sector, as they explore it as a medium for immersive storytelling experiences.
Done right, these can be powerful, memorable ways to personalise an issue and help bring a charity’s work closer to home.
However, they need to be careful to keep their VR experiences tasteful and appropriate, as some charities have already learnt.
We’ve outlined a few imaginative ways that charities are using VR and immersive video experiences.
1 – Raising awareness
Over the last few years, there have been many stories in the news of charities using VR to overcome what has traditionally been their most pressing challenge – helping people understand and more closely empathise with their cause.
Alzheimer’s Research UK- A walk through dementia
Alzheimer’s Research UK designed this VR app to help deepen people’s understanding of the complexities of dementia, targeting the common misconception that it only affects older people and that the only symptom is memory loss.
Working with virtual reality specialists VISYON, the charity created the free app to let people experience life through the eyes of a person with dementia. It was built with guidance from real people with different forms of the disease, and explores the emotional and psychological challenges they face as they try to navigate everyday environments.
The National Autistic Society- Too Much Information
In a similar vein, the National Autistic Society created this VR experience to let shoppers at the intu Shopping Centre in Bromley experience a shopping centre visit from the perspective of an autistic child.
Created to help the public increase their understanding of autism, the app replicates the dizzying experience of sensory overload often experienced by people on the autism spectrum when coping in a stressful and crowded place such as a shopping centre.
To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.