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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

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)

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Virtual Reality Tech Transforming Heart Treatments

However, bulky equipment and low-quality virtual images hindered these developments

Virtual Reality Tech Transforming Heart Treatments
Virtual Reality Tech Transforming Heart Treatments. Pixabay

Virtual Reality (VR)-powered head-mounted wearable devices are leading to new developments in cardiovascular treatment and improved outcomes for patients, researchers report.

The VR technology is helping in cardiac care, includes education and training, pre-procedural planning, visualisation during a procedure and rehabilitation in post-stroke patients.

“For years, VR technology promised the ability for physicians to move beyond 2-D screens in order to understand organ anatomy noninvasively,” said Jennifer NA Silva, Assistant Professor at the Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis.

However, bulky equipment and low-quality virtual images hindered these developments.

“Led by the mobile device industry, recent hardware and software developments-such as head mounted displays and advances in display systems-have enabled new classes of 3-D platforms that are transforming clinical cardiology,” Silva added in a paper appearing in the journal JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

Representational image. Pixabay

VR provides complete control over the wearer’s visual and auditory experience as they interact within a completely synthetic environment, while Augmented Reality (AR) allows the wearer to see their native environment while placing 2-D or 3-D images within it.

Merged reality and Mixed Reality (MR) allow for interaction with digital objects while preserving a sense of presence within the true physical environment.

“These technologies make up the full spectrum of extended reality, which is transforming the practice of cardiovascular medicine,” the researchers noted.

Also Read: Virtual Reality can reduce phantom pain felt by paralysed people

The technology allows patients and family members to better understand their cardiac conditions, helping them to make more informed decisions surrounding their medical care.

Medical students and trainees can better visualise cardiac abnormalities with VR, which allows trainees to simulate operating environments and multiple physicians to interact while viewing the same educational material in a natural environment.

However, the authors said there were still challenges and limitations.

“These technologies are still constrained due to cost, size, weight and power to achieve the highest visual quality, mobility, processing speed and interactivity,” Silva said. (IANS)