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Google Launches Social Awareness VR Initiative ‘Daydream Impact’

Google Daydream will provide organizations with VR training and equipment rentals.

When it comes to social change, awareness is the first step on a long journey to impact the causes and problems that we care about. Although there are a number of tools and strategies that can help drive awareness, there are few more effective than VR to help shine a light on important issues.

Whether the onslaught of VR for awareness projects we saw take over Tribeca Film Festival this year or women’s issue focused experiences that will bring you to tears, VR is an extremely powerful medium that can drive true empathy and real change.

But the challenge is that these organizations and change-makers often lack the resources or knowledge on how to best use VR. That’s why Google is launching a new program dubbed Daydream Impact, with the hope of helping organizations and creators utilize virtual reality to take their programs to the next level.

Daydream Impact focuses on three common bottlenecks with VR creation today: a lack of training on how to create VR video, difficulties accessing camera equipment and tools to showcase their content, and little exposure to how VR has been used creatively to tackle big challenges.

So to start, Google is providing training through a VR filmmaking course on Coursera, which anyone can take. The course begins by outlining basic hardware requirements and pre-production checklists, and it shares tips for getting the best VR footage including best practices from other creators. The training also covers all the post-production work required to create the video and concludes with guidance on how to publish and promote the video.

Second, Google is launching a loaner program to give qualified projects access to equipment to capture and showcase VR pieces—this means a Jump Camera, an Expeditions kit, Google Daydream View and a Daydream-ready phone. You can apply for the program and successful applicants will have six months to capture and refine their work to showcase.

The program has already been piloted with a few organizations including Eastern Congo Initiative who created a VR film on the struggles of the Congo and resilience of its people, The Rising Seas project that uses VR and simulations to experience changes in our coastline environments, Harmony Labs that created three anti-bullying pieces to pilot in schools, and Springbok Cares who is working to integrate VR into hospital environments to entertain patients and minimize anxiety during cancer treatment.

The World Wildlife Fund & Condition One, UNAIDS, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Protect our Winters, and Novo Media will be sharing their upcoming projects and case studies in 2018.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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