Augmented reality (AR) apps have a multitude of uses, from simple entertainment to useful practical applications like digitally placing furniture before purchase. Yet there are even wider, more serious applications for the technology, with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) creating an AR experience that invites you to experience first-hand the brutal reality of war and its impact on civilians.
Called Enter the Room, the AR experience features a narrative told through the eyes of a child, where users can view the brutal impact of years of fighting in a sped up time frame, watching the digital room transforms from a home of light and life to a dwelling of suffering and sadness.
The visceral experience has been created to highlight the plight of some 65 million people who are are fleeing conflict today, 75 percent of whom live in cities, where the majority of today’s modern battles are increasingly being fought.
“Conflict has devastating impacts on communities, and especially on children. We hope the story told through this immersive app will give people new insights into the realities of war,” said Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC in a statement. “It is a vivid reminder of how urban warfare destroys children’s bedrooms, their homes, and – tragically – their lives.”
“While Pokemon Go and Snapchat have already introduced the world to augmented reality, this is the first time AR has been used to tell the story of the impact of urban conflict,” said Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, director of communications and information management at the ICRC. “With augmented reality, we can create immersive experiences that showcase the humanitarian situation in a new and deeply moving way.”
Designed by digital innovation agency Nedd using Apple’s ARKit, Enter the Room is free to download from the App Store.
The ICRC isn’t the only organisation that’s used AR with the United Nations (UN) employing the tech to enhance its United Nations Sustainable Development Goals conference in 2017. As more international organisations utilise both AR and virtual reality (VR) to highlight the plight of others around the world, VRFocus will keep you informed.