ASML participated in the awareness campaign against the mass bombing of civilians through Virtual Reality (VR) at the Shoe Pyramid events organized in France by Handicap International on September 24th 2016. In Paris, Lyon and Nice, ASML offered a 360° experience inside several devastated Syrian cities through VR headsets.
Through this immersive film co-produced with Okio Studio, the audience is able to witness the horror of war mass destruction as they are placed into the ruins of Northern Syria. The video was released on our partners’ websites, Handicap International and Paris Match magazine. The latter also supplied its readers with VR headsets this year, so they were able to watch the video at home.
This footage unveils the everyday life of a stunned population, wandering amongst annihilated streets. This awareness campaign happens to have been launched when Aleppo is being intensely bombed by the Syrian regime and Russia at this very moment.
“The public was very receptive (…). We aim to raise awareness, denounce violations and protect civilians. Through virtual reality, we can feel as if we were there, even if we are used to watching pictures on TV or on social media: it’s more experiential, more immersive. We are aware that there are explosive under the rubble that could go off at any point“.
Yasmine Silem, Handicap International
First of all, this Virtual Reality experience helps the public understand the scale of the destruction caused by bombing. Moreover, virtual reality gives the public a more vivid experience of what is happening inside Syria.
“A photo is static, whereas virtual reality allows to see the extent of damage. It’s not merely a house or a street that is destroyed. It’s the whole environment. Hospitals, schools and basic infrastructure are destroyed. We can feel as if we were moving in this totally dramatic environment. It’s appalling.”
“I was able to perceive what happens within warzones, how many casualties there are. It’s shocking. We are not necessarily aware of the living conditions in wartime. As long as it doesn’t concern our own interests, we don’t care.”
Fatima Bekkouche, student
Virtual reality is an immersive multimedia experience that catches a real environment and allows users to interact. The images are first of all shot with a 360° scope and then viewed through a Virtual Reality headset.