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A marine biologist is using virtual reality to bring people closer to the ocean

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 25.2%. 1 min read.

Marine biologist Erika Woolsey is using immersive virtual dives to raise awareness of coral reef damage and inspire action to protect our seas.

(CNN)Diving in the oceans, marine biologist Erika Woolsey has seen first-hand how coral reefs and sea life are being damaged by climate change.

Through her non-profit, The Hydrous, Woolsey is using virtual reality to "bring the ocean to everyone. " The San Francisco-based collective of scientists, filmmakers and divers is taking people on immersive virtual dives to create a sense of "universal ocean empathy," raising awareness of reef damage and inspiring action to protect our seas.

It is this experience The Hydrous team set out to recreate with their award-winning film "Immerse. " Intended to be watched with a VR headset, viewers join Woolsey for a nine-minute guided virtual dive on the coral reefs off the western Pacific Island of Palau, immersed in a 360-degree underwater view.

A much-needed "tool for teleportation" at a time when people are confined to their homes, Woolsey says the dives also offer people a connection that goes beyond the ocean.

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