Jazeera Al Hamra VR is a Google Cardboard app presenting the architecture of Al Jazeera Al Hamra, a former coastal village in southern Ras Al Khaimah that was abandoned at the time of the formation of the United Arab Emirates in the late 1960s and 1970s. It is considered one of the last traditional towns in the country. Once an active fishing and pearl diving community, Al Jazeera Al Hamra consists of a fort (hisn), several mosques, a market (souq) and over 100 houses including a wind tower home—some of which are constructed of traditional materials such as coral and gypsum. Due to the wishes of the families who once lived there, the buildings have not been demolished and remain relatively intact.
This app works with Google Cardboard and most Android mobile phone devices.
For those who are new to Google Cardboard, it is a virtual reality platform that uses a relatively low-cost cardboard or plastic viewer in conjunction with a mobile phone device to create an immersive experience.
Featured in version 2.0 of the Jazeera Al Hamra VR app are seven 360-degree VR (virtual reality) panoramic images that were captured between 2009 and 2014, which include the hisn (fort), souq (market) and four courtyard homes.
1. Download, install and launch the Jazeera Al Hamra VR app. 2. Press the intro screen to access the buildings. 3. Place your mobile device in your Google Cardboard device and view the panoramas.
To see the different buildings:
1. Look for a circular arrow icon within the panorama with the words, “Go to…”. 3. Focus your eyes on the icon. 4. After a few seconds of maintaining your focus, the icon will begin to animate and switch to the next structure.
To return to the “Intro Screen”:
1. Look straight down at the floor. 2. Lock your focus on the circular arrow icon with the words “Go to Home” beside it. 3. After a few seconds of maintaining your focus, the icon will begin to animate and bring you to the “Intro Screen”.
Do not use this app while driving, walking, or otherwise by being distracted or disoriented from real world situations that prevent you from obeying traffic or safety laws.