One of the common criticisms of XR technology is that people will use it to avoid real-world problems. We hear it from talking heads, see it in webcomics, and read about it in science fiction. However, the fact is that many XR experiences – and the companies behind them – are dedicated to promoting environmental causes.
In light of World Environment Day on June 5, we’ll be looking at some recent, current, and upcoming XR initiatives focused on planetary wellbeing.
What is World Environment Day?
World Environment Day is an initiative of the United Nations. On the project’s website, linked above, visitors can find educational and inspirational articles, quizzes and how-to guides on how to help the environment. This year’s World Environment Day focuses on “living sustainably in harmony with nature”, with the slogan “Only One Earth”.
See also: Immersive Technology for Environmental Issues: How Virtual Reality Can Boost Conservation Initiatives
Not all news is good. So, check out the UN website and, if you’re too disappointed, dive into XR for some of these upbeat and impactful experiences that can also help you learn and contribute to sustainable development initiatives around the world. Once you’re refreshed, return to the UN website. We cannot resolve all of our issues with the headset.
OCAVU partnership with EcoCart
OCAVU, formerly Seek, is a 3D modeling engine. Although the company launched an NFT platform late last year, its main job is to provide content for e-commerce businesses. While some have environmental concerns regarding the energy required to maintain most blockchains, OCAVU is very committed to the environment.
On the one hand, a number of sources – including OCAVU’s recent blog post “How AR can help save the planet” – claim that 3D modeling and commercial XR testing reduce emissions. reducing returns by providing buyers with better product information. Additionally, earlier this year, OCAVU announced an environmental, social and governance program with partner EcoCart.
If you’re unfamiliar, EcoCart works with online retailers to give consumers the option to donate extra money with their purchase which is then used to support projects that offset carbon emissions. Among other benefits, the partnership will help OCAVU set up its own carbon tracer for its customers, similar to the one EcoCart provides to customers.
“Now we are in a place where we can focus on initiatives that we believe in by implementing our ESG program,” OCAVU CEO Jon Cheney said in a statement. “Partnering with EcoCart is the perfect stepping stone towards our goal of creating lasting engagements with our brand partners. Using these innovative tools can help the e-commerce industry make a meaningful impact.”
Environmental Experiences in Quest (and Beyond)
June 5 is World Environment Day, but April was Earth Month. In honor of Earth Month, Meta has released an ongoing blog post highlighting a number of environmental VR experiences available in Quest.
Some of these experiences were screenings that took place in Horizon Venues and are therefore no longer available. However, most experiences are still available for download, purchase, or ongoing initiatives. This makes this article a great starting point for anyone looking to find environmental experiences on Earth Day, Environment Day, or any other day.
By the way, not all of these experiences require a Quest headset. Many of them are 360 videos on YouTube that can be viewed on other headsets or even on 2D screens.
Cycle the world with VZfit
VZfit is a full-body VR cardio program from VirZOOM. And, we can be sure they have goals beyond profits – the business and the experience have landed in AR PostArticle from XR Mental Health Awareness Month 2022. The experiment uses Google Street View imagery to give runners and cyclists a change of scenery when training indoors.
See also: Can virtual reality inspire climate action?
In addition to the company’s dedication to promoting physical and mental health, they are also passionate about the environment. The company regularly posts “challenges” for its community, which usually involve using landscapes from different parts of the world, encouraging users to explore the planet wherever they are.
During Earth Month, each challenge completed by participants was rewarded with a tree planted by various organizations that VirZOOM has partnered with. An Environment Day Challenge has not been announced at the time of this writing, however, their The Earth Day Challenge is extended within a week “in the hope of reaching our goal of 2,500 trees planted”. Whether or not the company organizes another tangible initiative like planting trees in the future, the challenge is sure to encourage participants to explore a new corner of our beautiful world.
There is only one Earth
There are some pretty fantastic worlds that can be explored through XR. However, the most fantastical world XR users can explore is the world we all live in. Whether XR’s initiatives educate, promote and support causes, reduce carbon footprints, or simply encourage us to see the world in a new way, XR works for the environment. sensitization. Happy world environment day in advance.