Impact of natural disasters is inevitable. If protective measures aren’t put in place, flood damages are estimated to reach $1 trillion annually for 136 largest cities worldwide.
This projects presents a Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go application that regenerates real world and weather conditions worldwide to increase disaster awareness and to prepare responders by employing gamification techniques.
Game has outdoor and indoor options. For outdoor, users can select any city in the world which will be generated in Unity using ESRI’s City Engine. Weather conditions, sun visibility, and disaster information are retrieved from Weather Channel for current or past conditions depending on user’s selections. Players will start the game inside the city and will be given tasks to achieve while unexpected incidents happen such as damages to structures or appearance of people in need of saving. Tasks will include escaping from flood zone, saving a trapped child, finding appropriate vehicles, which will force players to take fast decisions under stress. While interacting with the VR world, natural language voice commands will be used with IBM Watson speech recognition and natural language processing. Furthermore, player’s actions and trends in their voice will be used to analyze their emotional and psychological state using IBM Watson Tone Analyzer and Personality Insights. This application will also be useful for preparing and evaluating emergency responders.
Indoor option simulates an immersive VR house where player will start the game by waking up from the bed and finding out that house is flooded, and water level is increasing as time passes. Similar to outdoor, players will be given tasks such as shutting down electricity, gas, rescuing the rest of the family, while responding to unexpected incidents. VR world will allow users to realistically experience such scenarios, thus increasing disaster awareness.
- Sermet, Y., Demir, I., ‘Flood Action VR: A Virtual Reality Framework for Disaster Awareness and Emergency Response Training’, 15th International Conference on Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Methods (MSV'18), July 30-August 2, 2018, Las Vegas, NV. (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3306214.3338550)