Putting All That Gee Whiz Technology And Creative Knowhow To Much Better Use

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Two scenes from a virtual-reality “ride” that takes viewers into the realm of whales, fish and sonic and plastic pollution. Credit Dell

One of our favorite sources of “green news” in the early days of this blog five years ago, Mr. Revkin reappears every now and then with something really cool:

To Cut Ocean Trash, Adrian Grenier and Dell Enlist Filmmakers and Virtual Reality

The three-minute virtual journey, called “Cry Out: The Lonely Whale Experience,” debuted in December in Miami and made a stop at the Paris climate negotiations. But new features have been added, including one that creates the feeling that the virtual schools of fish swimming past you are brushing your legs.

To learn more about how Grenier developed what he calls “a fully immersive whale-D experience,” read John Gaudiosi’s detailed story in Fortune and watch this Dell video. (The Times, on both the news and commerce sides, has gotten into this technology in a big way, as well.)

I’ve wondered about the limits of virtual experience in altering actual human priorities and behaviors. But if this kind of journey could be more widely shared, perhaps through a simpler technology like the inflatable projection domes of David McConville and others, I could see it having some impact.

While visiting the Dell venue in Austin, I also learned about a planned push by the company to develop packaging out of plastic retrieved from the seas, which is sadly sufficiently abundant off Asia’s Pacific shores to be seen as a resource — although hopefully not a renewable one for much longer! You can learn more about that below. (This isn’t the first look at low-impact packaging by Dell, which was one of the first big companies to try shipping delicate gear using packaging made of wheat straw, bamboo and mushrooms — the latter produced by Ecovative, a start-up I wrote about in 2012.)…

Read the whole story here.

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