Virtual reality (VR) is becoming not only a fantastic platform for videogames but also for immersive tours and experiences people can enjoy at home or anywhere, thanks to products like Google Cardboard. So this month WWF-Australia has launched a global campaign to help protect the Great Barrier Reef in partnership with Underwater Earth, Google Creative Lab and Grumpy Sailor.
Utilising beautiful 360? underwater seascapes and new experimental platform Storyspheres WWF – Australia aims to provide a fully immersive and virtual experience of the Great Barrier Reef. Beautiful underwater views of Lady Elliot Island, the Yongala Wreck, North Broken Passage and Myrmidon Reef has been overlaid with real audio from undersea dives to allow people to explore this underwater world up, down, and all around with sound.
This is being put into place due to the World Heritage Committee making draft decision that has put Australia on probation until the health of the Reef actually improves. The ruling comes three years after UNESCO first warned Australia to clean up its act in protecting the Reef, and is critical to the future protection of vast populations of fish, sharks and other marine wildlife that teem within its unique coral reef ecosystem.
Supporters can sign up to WWF’s campaign at reef.wwf.org.au to add their name to the global petition, and be eligible to win a free pair of the Virtual Reality Reef Goggles, basically Google Cardboard. The damage being caused to the reef is due to port expansion, dredging and pollution.#
WWF’s National Manager of Marine Conservation Rick Leck has said “We know that if people experience the incredible natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, they’ll be inspired to help save it,” adding “The Reef is a wondrous place where creatures and colours of the most amazing and diverse nature reside in an underwater coral paradise, yet the health of the Reef is under serious threat, your support can help secure a momentous win for the Great Barrier Reef. It’s your Reef, join the campaign to help protect it.”
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