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United Nations Picks up Indian Documentary in Virtual Reality, titled “Cost of Coal”

The film is based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, where about a fourth of India's coal is mined, leaving the land ravaged, air and water contaminated and lives disrupted

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Anand Gandhi. Flickr

Mumbai, October 24, 2016: United Nations’ Virtual Reality app, UNVR, has acquired Indian documentary in VR, titled “Cost of Coal”.

Anand Gandhi, best known for his directorial “Ship of Theseus”, and his team at Memesys Culture Lab are the minds behind the film, helmed by filmmaker Faiza Khan.

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It is based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, where about a fourth of India’s coal is mined, leaving the land ravaged, air and water contaminated and lives disrupted.

“We (UN) have acquired ‘Cost of Coal’ and put it on the UNVR platform. It’s the first Indian film that gets that honour,” Gabo Arora, Creative Director and Senior Advisor at the United Nations, told IANS in a group interaction.

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He was part of a session on VR at the ongoing Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star here, where the current usage of virtual reality was discussed, and how it will possibly shape the future.

Gandhi, who was also one of the panellists, said: “I am very excited about it (his film getting picked for UNVR). We (his team) are also doing a VR piece that we are shooting with actor Irrfan Khan. It is fiction. We will start shooting soon.”

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Director Shakun Batra, the founder and curator of VR at the film festival, which will conclude on October 27, said: “It is the first VR film from India to get acquired and I think that starts a whole new phase where VR is something that has return on investments. People are interested in acquiring our films in VR, that’s a big move.”

He believes that VR will be a new platform for storytellers and filmmakers. (IANS)

Next Story

Artificial Skin Made of Silicon Helps In Enhanced VR Experience

Scientists have developed a soft, flexible artificial skin made of silicone and electrodes that can help in rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality

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AI Skin, silicon, Virtual Reality, VR
This is ideal for wearable applications, such as for testing a patient's proprioception in medical applications. VOA

Scientists have developed a soft, flexible artificial skin made of silicone and electrodes that can help in rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality (VR).

Just like our senses of hearing and vision, our sense of touch plays an important role in how we perceive and interact with the world around us.

The skin’s system of soft sensors and actuators enable the artificial skin to conform to the exact shape of a wearer’s wrist, for example, and provide haptic feedback in the form of pressure and vibration.

Strain sensors continuously measure the skin’s deformation so that the haptic feedback can be adjusted in real time to produce a sense of touch that’s as realistic as possible, said the team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

“This is the first time we have developed an entirely soft artificial skin where both sensors and actuators are integrated,” said Harshal Sonar, the study’s lead author.

“This is ideal for wearable applications, such as for testing a patient’s proprioception in medical applications,” said Sonar, in the journal Soft Robotics.

AI Skin, silicon, Virtual Reality, VR
To develop the device that can quickly determine a skin lesion’s depth and potential malignancy without using a scalpel. Pixabay

The artificial skin can be stretched up to four times its original length for up to a million cycles. That makes it particularly attractive for a number of real-world applications.

For now, the scientists have tested it on users’ fingers and are still making improvements to the technology.

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“The next step will be to develop a fully wearable prototype for applications in rehabilitation and virtual and Augmented Reality (AR),” said Sonar. (IANS)