Competition: Charities challenged to take advantage of AR & VR technologies

Competition: Charities challenged to take advantage of AR & VR technologies

Virtual reality development company Showstorm has launched a competition this week challenging charities to take advantage of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies.

The company is inviting charities to suggest projects where an immersive VR or AR experience could help convey their cause or provide training for volunteers, among other possibilities.

According to Showcase managing director Mark Bellinger, “In VR and AR anything is possible. We want charities to get creative and really challenge us!”

The company has allocated a budget of £30k ($37k), and will donate its own in-house expertise to help bring the best ideas to life.

All entry ideas will be showcased during March and April, with the winners due to be chosen early in June 2017.

To get involved, charities can email [email protected] with an idea, tweet @showstorm using the hashtag #VR4Charity or visit Showstorm’s Facebook page.

Charities using AR / VR

A number of charities have already benefited from the growing availability of both AR and VR in recent years.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, for example, has an app called ‘A walk through dementia’, which presents several everyday situations and challenges that people with dementia regularly face.

The National Autistic Society, meanwhile, is using 360° video to enable people to feel every single sight, sound, and stare that someone with autism might endure on a simple shopping trip.

Finally, Amnesty International was among the first to launch a “virtual reality Aleppo” campaign, designed to transport people  to the devastated streets of the war-torn Syrian city. Amnesty has said the campaign drew a strong and often emotional response from the public.

“With the fast growing popularity and accessibility of virtual reality, it is emerging as a powerful and immersive storytelling device that charities can really embrace to achieve the maximum social impact,” Bellinger concluded.

You can get more information on the work Showstorm is doing in the AR/VR space here.