How Dell aims to raise awareness of environmental issues through VR partnerships

At SXSW, TechRepublic's Teena Maddox spoke with Dell's director of VR and AR about the company's partnerships, which include actor Adrien Grenier's Lonely Whale foundation.

Dell is using VR partnerships to raise awareness of environmental issues

"We're heavily involved with several areas of VR," Gary Radburn, Dell's director of VR and AR, told TechRepublic's Teena Maddox at this year's South by Southwest festival. "Through medical, with Dr. Skip Rizzo, we help him treat patients, veterans with PTSD, and he uses exposure therapy inside of VR to help rehabilitation. He's also does work with autism and we're keen to help him reintegrate them into society, with interview techniques to help them get jobs.

We had Adrian Grenier, with the Lonely Whale, which highlights the plight of the whale, and the oceans and pollution, both noise and plastic, and how it affects wildlife.

SEE: From 'Entourage' to Dell, actor Adrian Grenier now fights ocean pollution using VR (TechRepublic)

We sponsored a trip to Greenland, to highlight the plight of polar bears, who are now being affected by plastic waste. It reinforces Adrian's [Grenier's] message: plastic in the ocean is bad. We've seen plastic inside polar bears now, which gives [the species] approximately another 100 years of longevity, unless we change our ways.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

These are causes important to Dell and we realize the value of raising awareness through the medium of art. It gives viewers a more emotive involvement into those campaigns."

Redburn also noted the downturn in VR system sales, and the company's response: "VR content providers say the audience is too small, and for system developers, there wasn't enough content for a VR-ready system.

Dell reduced the price-of-entry of consumer VR, which would grant a greater accessibility to the causes for which there is content, and for which we are promoting today. The more people we can bring to see the benefits of the system and its capabilities, the more people will grow to care more about the environment. This content brings the greater problems of the world directly to the consumer, who will then experience 360-video and once they do so, it will be a win-win, for Dell, for everyone and for the planet."

Also see:

Gary Radburn, Director of VR and AR, Dell
Image: Teena Maddox/TechRepublic