Step into post-climate change Singapore with ST's new virtual reality project

Visitors to The Straits Times' booth at the Singapore Eco-Film Festival can try out ST's VR project, which shows how climate change will affect Singapore, as they take a four-minute journey in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay, to the Merlion Pa
Visitors to The Straits Times' booth at the Singapore Eco-Film Festival can try out ST's VR project, which shows how climate change will affect Singapore, as they take a four-minute journey in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay, to the Merlion Park and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark.ST PHOTO: TOH TING WEI
Visitors to The Straits Times' booth at the Singapore Eco-Film Festival can try out ST's VR project, which shows how climate change will affect Singapore, as they take a four-minute journey in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay, to the Merlion Pa
Visitors to The Straits Times' booth at the Singapore Eco-Film Festival can try out ST's VR project, which shows how climate change will affect Singapore, as they take a four-minute journey in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay, to the Merlion Park and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark.ST PHOTO: TOH TING WEI
The project will take viewers on a four-minute journey through Singapore in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay, to the Merlion Park and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark.
The project will take viewers on a four-minute journey through Singapore in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay, to the Merlion Park and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - Have you ever wondered what Singapore will be like in the next century, amid all the warnings about a world drastically altered by climate change?

You can now take a step into the far future, with The Straits Times' virtual reality (VR) project, Singapore 2100: Climate changed.

The project will take viewers on a four-minute journey through Singapore in 2100, from a river cruise at Boat Quay to the Merlion Park and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark.

Users who complete a tour of these scenes will be taken to a "bonus" scene, where they can see the whole of Singapore from a bird's eye view.

Members of the public can experience this at ST's booth at the Singapore Eco-Film Festival, which is taking place now till Sunday (Nov 4) at the ArtScience Museum.

The festival brings together eco organisations and storytellers in Singapore, and look at solutions for the environment.

Interactive graphics journalist Rebecca Pazos, 31, who helped conceptualise and research information for Singapore 2100, said: "The project is aimed at educating people on climate change specific to Singapore.

"I think sometimes in Singapore we seem to think that climate change will affect other countries around us and not us. But it is important to know that even if it does not happen in your lifetime, it will affect the lives of your grandchildren."

 
 

She said the team chose to highlight the problems of food shortages and extreme weather in the project because these are the likely climate change-related issues that will hit the country the hardest.

The Earth Observatory of Singapore, which conducts research on climate change, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami in and around South-east Asia, provided facts and information that were incorporated into the project.

Singapore 2100 has been in the works since July last year, after ST published its first VR project, Singapore Underwater, which looks at the possible long-term impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the Republic.

Web developer Chee Wei Xian, 23, who also worked on the earlier project, said this year's illustration of the impact of climate change would give users an improved experience through increased interactivity and a wider variety of scenes.

Users will be able to enjoy a 360-degree view of the virtual realm that they are in and see clear and realistic details of the various scenes. Among the highlights include a scene in which water levels rise right in front of their eyes.

The project can be viewed through the Google Daydream View VR headset, or the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, both of which are made available to ST under the Google News Initiative. Visitors to the Singapore Eco-Film Festival can view the project using these headsets at the ST booth.

Those who are unable to make it to the event can also try out the immersive storytelling experience at home, by using a Daydream-compatible mobile phone.

All they have to do is download the Singapore 2100 app, and the Google Daydream app, from the Google Play store, and then view it with their own VR headset.