Barrier Reef, Great Barrier, Matilda Cass discussed on Think: Sustainability

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This is think sustainability today pot to of how technology is connecting us with the natural world from producer, Shane Anderson. It sounds like a rainforest. You can hear the peaceful tutoring buds in the trees above and the gentle flow of water from a strain nearby. You can always here the humidity in the air. But none of this is real. Can you describe what you're seeing now? So ROY now, I mean, the lobby this is a custom entry point for the experience. So it's this is Ryan Watson head of community engagement at a not for profit called new horizons, and we're not in the middle of a rainforest where actually at new horizon Sydney headquarters and today Ryan is here to guide me on a virtual reality journey through a stray Leah's natural environments, a destination today is the Great Barrier. Reef point straight ahead when my little masters hovering over I click on it to enter. So I'm in now to the reef and I'm having a look around. I can see some people that are snorkeling and paddling around down on on directly above some really beautiful coral, I can see lots of fish and sort of moving through at a nice pace through the reef almost as if I was scuba diving and swimming under the water myself. Lots of amazing call life and fish, and I'm sort of coming up now out of the water. And I'm flying over the reef I can see some votes some little sandbars and oil off in the distance. And if oh down it's just the beautiful turquoise waters of the Great Barrier. Reef. It's really so it's it feels so real. Have you been to the Barrier Reef in real life to the right by rape? But never Ailey copter, and to do that sort of really low flyover over the Great Barrier. Reef for me was the really cool thing because it was a perspective never had on the on the reef. We often think of technology as creating a barrier between us in the environment. That were too busy looking at our screens to appreciate the world around us. But there are ways technology can help us to engage with nature on an emotional level. And it can open up doors to a world that for some seem to be permanently closed. I think it's a great question to ask is how does technology enabled us, and how do we make sure we do it in a way that inclusive Ryan and the team at new horizons came up with this virtual reality experience in response to questions like this. The project is called parallel pox and at aims to use technology to not just assist people. But to empower them. Great. Pirlo pox is an initiative that's aiming to help people with disability and other mobility issues to be able to remove barriers and access places. Parts of the world that they may never have otherwise been able to access through the power of reality. They wanted to know how they could make a stray Leah's national parks more accessible because why shouldn't the benefits of being outdoors be available to everyone at first. They had a couple of ideas as to how to do this one was raising money to build things like ramps within the national parks. But this came with a whole set of problems will there's obviously really high cost and a lot of complexity in being able to make some really inaccessible and remote places accessible when you have a disability or an accessory -bility issue holidays. Look a lot different before you've even left the door. You could be racking up an enormous Bill. Mayo you to go to the Great Barrier. Reef Mark cost us a couple of thousand dollars. Af as an accommodation. That's a much more costly and involve process, traveling with care is making sure that they have appropriate. Disability access at every place that they going those sorts of things make it a lot more complicated said they thought why not bring the pox to the people using virtual reality technology. That's already available on the market. Name is Catherine Marie Smith. I'm a young fifty. This is cath a program embassador full, parallel pox. She was also one of the first people to try this virtual reality experience. I like to go by king on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love playing with my cat. Matilda Cass has limited mobility. She uses a wheelchair to get around and communicates through text to speech software. This is clearly Nouri Barrio to active lifestyle. I had a chat to about some of the challenges. She faces getting out into nature. I would love to do more in the way of activities. It's a bit hot for me. There is not even accessible rods in the Blue Mountains. I wanted to go on the train ride up and down the hills. But couldn't it is ridiculous. How much it costs for me to do very basic things? Have you ever used virtual reality before I had used V once but. It was a long time ago, which experience is your favorite and why I chose the Great Barrier. Reef because I am awarded baby. It took me back. There had been once before why do you think VR experiences of nature are important parallel? Pox is important because it brings exposure if I could have the experience of going up and down those hills in the Blue Mountains in via. I would I would always choose the reality smiley face. Virtual

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