Enter The Room is an app that transports you into the harsh reality of war and conflict with a powerful experience that leverages a combination of augmented reality, 3D audio, haptics, and empathy.
The AR experience was created by The International Committee of the Red Cross along with the help of the digital agency, Nedd—using Apple’s ARKit—to generate awareness and weave an emotional bridge between you and innocent victims of these conflicts.
The immersive experience begins with you using your iPhone to create a virtual doorway in the real-world by simply scanning the floor. Once created, you can walk through the bedroom door and experience the story unfold.
The first thing you’ll notice is the bedroom is bright with vibrant colors, toys are nicely placed around the room, and sounds of chirping birds come in from the direction of the window — but those sounds and the vibrant colors quickly turn, and the scene changes. Gunfire and panic quickly takes over the experience and jolts you out of a tranquil state.
As Enter The Room unfolds, it takes you through four years of a child’s life as war slowly takes over their world, and you get a firsthand account of how war can completely alter lives. The iPhones haptics are used to simulate gunfire and explosions. At first it’s subtle, but as the explosions become louder and closer—your phone’s vibration grow in intensity.
The four minute experience is incredibly powerful and eye opening.
Conflict has a devastating impact on communities—especially on children. For the ICRC, the hope is that the story told through Enter The Room will give viewers new insights into the realities of war.
During an interview with VRScout, Ranjit Bhagwat, Ph.D. Licensed clinical psychologist specializing in trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, said:
I was impressed with the experience. It was effective without being graphic – indeed, more effective in what it left to the imagination. Of course, there are lots of things that you can’t simulate and don’t want to simulate, but the application seemed visceral enough while also being respectful to those who have actually experienced it.”
The message of Enter The Room is simple—you can make a difference. It’s an opportunity to use AR storytelling to stoke the possibilities of change in our world and give the innocent victims of war a voice. Reminding you of how urban warfare destroys children’s bedrooms, their homes, and their lives.
“I felt quite moved by the experience, not only as a clinician who has listened to peoples’ experiences of warzone trauma in graphic detail, but also as a father and a human being,” said Bhagwat. “I thought it was devastating and quite effective.”