Altering Perceptions with Virtual Reality

Altering Perceptions with Virtual Reality

As a filmmaker, Chris Milk wants to tell the most compelling story to an audience.

“Film is an incredible medium that allows you to feel empathy for people who are very different to us, in worlds completely foreign to our own.”

He’s been exploring how he can use modern technology to tell a more compelling story, a story that could not have been communicated through traditional mediums.

Milk has created some fantastic work using what he calls ‘the empathy machine’, describing it as “a window into another world”. He doesn’t want you to watch a story from the outside looking in. He wants you to be there. Present in the moment, actually inhabiting a different world.

With virtual reality as his tool, he can transport you to another world. Various industries are catching on to the power of VR including architecture, travel, medical, art, retail and marketing. For Milk, he is interested in how he can use it for social good.

The immersive user experience is created using a 3D camera that films simultaneously in every direction, the result creates a spherical 360 ° view, close to that of reality. 

Can this technology change hearts and minds?

If VR gives viewers the opportunity to experience social issues up close, it could build connections, empathy and understanding. This has huge implications for those who make critical decisions about other peoples lives.

Milk has taken his VR films to the UN to help those who preside over matters that affect 10 million Syrian refugees. The officials can’t relate to what life is really like in a refugee camp, yet they make decisions about those who live there. With VR, Milk forces their feet into the torn shoes of a 12 year old refugee and the ‘empathy machine’ shows them a new version of reality.

Chris Milk is altering reality with virtual reality.


Watch his entertaining TED Talk below.


Tags: Ideas, TED, VR

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