VR apps are tried in emergency evacuation drills at Japanese universities

In the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima in the northeast, a disaster evacuation drill utilizing an augmented reality app was conducted on Sunday. At an Iwaki City mall, about 110 locals and students gathered to test out the software, which was co-developed by the universities of Kyushu and Tohoku.


An arrow indicates a safe evacuation path. They are predicated on the user's location and shared disaster data. The app also makes it possible to share pictures of flames and collapsed buildings with the city's emergency response team.


On their way to the evacuation point, participants made detours and turned around after checking their smartphone screens. On their way to the evacuation point, participants made detours and turned around after checking their smartphone screens.


Although some elderly persons had trouble using smartphones, those who utilized the app were found to have evacuated more quickly and covered fewer distances on foot.


Oishi Yusuke, a visiting professor at Tohoku University, stated that while some problems persist, using the newest technology to advise people understandably is useful.




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