Mobile augmented reality tool Clean A\R has secured the top prize in the Unity for Humanity 2019 Challenge. The mobile app – which is pronounced “Clean Air” – lets users visualise the air pollution around them by displaying it as an AR smog effect.
Created in order to recognise and reward “some of the incredible socially conscious experiences people are making with Unity”, the Unity for Humanity 2019 Challenge invited creators to submit social or environmental projects in production or development that “offer impactful solutions”. Over 200 submissions were made throughout January and February 2019.
Richard Nockles, Dan Stankowski, and Niru Fekri Arnold – the core team behind the app – created the mobile application to enable people to share “their local experience and pollution measurements on social media to generate greater awareness and, hopefully, stimulate policy change”.
“The app is linked to hundreds of state-of-the-art air-quality monitoring stations,” says Nockles, Clean A\R’s creative director and founder of Surround Vision, adding that he hopes Clean A\R “will help raise awareness about the dangers of exposure to city pollution, and make it easy to share pollution findings and put pressure on local politicians”.
“Air pollution is killing us,” Nockles explained. “More than 400,000 early deaths are caused each year in Europe. It’s known as the ‘invisible killer,’ and its impact on our lives is projected to double by 2050. The UK is particularly bad, but the majority of British people don’t recognize the danger because they can’t see it. But what if we could see the poison surrounding us?”
“Delivering high-end VR and AR experiences can bring a fresh perspective on environmental issues,” added Dan Stankowski, Clean A\R’s lead developer. “What’s more impressive is that the engagement levels are through the roof. We’ve found that the tools can create serious impact, opening people’s hearts and minds.”
Five other “inspired and inspiring finalists” also received an honourable mention prize for projects ranging from “a cinematic VR twist on Alice in Wonderland designed to promote awareness about social media addiction, to a multiplayer game that helps citizens speak out about gentrification in their communities”.
For more, you can meet the winner and finalists on the Unity for Humanity 2019 website.