Telefonica | empathy workshop and vr 4 good


Think Big is a youth program of the Telefonica Foundation and the German Children and Youth Foundation (DKJS) together with O2. Thanks to them, we had the awesome opportunity to spend some time with quite a few some young and hungry minds about vr, ar and immersive technologies.
Suddenly, the past 20th October, the O2 tower in Munich became the perfect space for young people curious about their future and how technology can influence and inspire them. Our mission was very clear, sow in them the seeds of empathy and to discuss with them how virtual reality could help us create a better world.

Based in the a well-known technique in which users can feel themselves like if they were in a different body, we developed an app for two Android Head Mounted Display and two first-person cameras. To be able to create a better brain illusion we used two cameras interconnected directly by USB between the headsets, to reduce the latency and increase the immersive perception. At the same time, the rest of the audience could see in a screen what they were seeing during the whole the experiment.

picture from Fernanda Vilela

Both users were synchronized with their movements and also they had the same sensitive stimulation from the the exterior world by touching them in the same points at the same time. If one does not correspond to the movement of the other, the experience does not work at all.

picture from Fernanda Vilela

Once their bodies were “connected” we decided to go a bit further and play a bit more. We brought them two dishes, one with chickpeas and the other with M&M’s. While one of them were seeing chickpeas and tasting M&M’s the other was having exactly the opposite experience.

picture from Fernanda Vilela

After demonstrating them that technology can play a very important role in the exercise of empathy, we discuss a bit about how immersion can help us to build a better world and… of course their answers and proposals were quite amazing.

picture from Fernanda Vilela

Summarizing, We feel very proud to be in the position to be able inspire and also be inspired by the next coming generation, and we love to be surrounded by fresh and new ways of thinking.