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RIA Novosti Launches the Blind And The City Immersive VR Project in English

November 18, 2019

The RIA Novosti news agency has launched an English version of its award-winning project, The Blind and the City, which is a part of RIA.Lab. AR & VR mobile application and relies on virtual reality to give users an immersive experience of what it is like to be blind.

The application runs on both iOS and Android smartphones and can be downloaded respectively from AppStore and Google Play.

The Blind and the City project combines VR technology with classic reporting. It requires an augmented reality headset, which can be made from cardboard, to challenge the user to take on various tasks that blind people cope with everyday, from choosing clothes to getting to and from places.

The story is based on lives of three young people living in Moscow, Anatoly, Yevgeny and Maria. The user is told how the visually impaired perceive the world around them by touch, ear and memory, and how they use canes, cues from others and sounds of the city to get around.

Natalya Loseva, deputy editor-in-chief of the Rossiya Segodnya news agency, which RIA Novosti is part of, said the project presented a challenge in that it combined classic reporting with virtual space.

"The Blind and the City is a very important project for us and a challenge in every way, including its genre, as we tried to put a classic report into a completely new format. Technology was another challenge - for the first time we used video in virtual space. The semantic challenge had to do with trying to show something visually that is impossible to show - the world of a blind person," she said.

The project won in the Integration of Traditional and New Media category at this year's International Public Relations Association's Golden World Awards in London.

RIA Novosti is Rossiya Segodnya's media group and the most quoted Russian news outlet. The agency's correspondent network covers over a hundred cities worldwide. Its audience on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, totals around 9 million.

Source: Urdu Point

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