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New Virtual Reality App Allows San Francisco Residents to Explore Potential Effects of Climate Change

A partnership between the government, researchers and private sector resulted in a virtual reality app allowing San Francisco residents to explore the potential impact of climate change.

Look Ahead- San Francisco is one of the latest virtual reality apps launched. Developed as a collaborative effort between the local authorities of San Francisco area, research centers for climate change and an app development team, Look Ahead is the first virtual reality app which simulates the effects of climate change. The official launch of the app took place on December 5, at the Embarcadero site.


A Virtual Reality Experience of Climate Change

Virtual reality apps are the most recent tool developed for raising awareness on the impact of climate change on the environment and people’s lives. Look Ahead offers a first person 360-degree view of the effects of rising ocean levels on the entire San Francisco Bay area.

Users will be able to have an immersive and realistic experience of the way the landscape around them and their own lives will be impacted by the effects of global warming on the Arctic meltdown. At the same time, they can also simulate the beneficial results of sustainable climate solution on the key areas in the region, especially Embarcadero, Heron’s Head Park, and Mission Creek.

Look Ahead Virtual Reality app
Image Source: iTunes


Science Meets New Technologies

Look Ahead virtual reality app is the result of a partnership between the nonprofit organization Climate Access, the City and County of San Francisco, Dr. Susanne Moser Research and Consulting and Antioch University. The project was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Mayor of San Francisco, Mr. Edwin M. Lee, stated that: “The launch of the Look Ahead SF campaign and virtual reality app provides a new way for our City to raise awareness about future sea level rise and involve community members in efforts to increase our resilience and meet our climate action goals.”


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A New Potential Use for Virtual Reality Technology

Look Ahead demonstrates the versatility of virtual reality apps and their practical applications in everyday life. Once a new “gimmick” used in games and movies, virtual reality has matured into a useful technology which can improve people’s lives, offer rich experiences and add value to various professions such as science, research and development, training and education.

With climate change still a hotly debated topic, virtual reality may be the ideal instrument which scientists and environmental specialists need to add substance to their claims and make people “see” how the world may change in the near future.

Look Ahead virtual reality app is available for free download on Google Play and the App Store.

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