The 21st-century charity that puts
Google and VR to good use

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By Joseph Volpe

While Charity: Water's sensor project is a nice incentive for donors who've already contributed and want to check on the progress of the wells they've helped fund, it lacks a certain emotional immediacy. Which is why the team has another technological ace up its sleeve that's sure to increase donations: a VR documentary entitled The Source.

A lot of fuss is made, by technologists, artists and the tech press, about virtual reality's potential as an empathy generator. Namely, that by virtue of transporting you to another environment and putting you within somebody else's shoes, you can actually "feel" what life is like outside of your own head. Whether that's following a tribe of nomads in Africa or experiencing both perspectives of date rape, the medium has extreme potential to effect change. And to Charity: Water's credit, The Source is perhaps the best representation to date of that transformative power.

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