Project Description

The Hajj VR Experience

THE CHALLENGE

The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage that all adult Muslims, who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, must complete at least once in their lifetime. This is a huge logistical challenge for the government of Saudi Arabia as they host over a few weeks two million pilgrims in Mecca. This is also a challenge for the pilgrims as well who arrive from 188 different countries as they navigate the logistical aspects of preparing for their pilgrimage. While nothing can replace the pilgrimage in a Muslim’s life, those who are unable to make the pilgrimage would like a way to make the trip to Mecca.

  • A Pillar Of Islam
    The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is considered mandatory by believers. The pilgrimage to Mecca is of great spiritual importance to Muslims. With the costs of performing the Hajj increasing as well as limited numbers of pilgrimage visas available, not everyone who wants to make the trip can.
  • Remembering the Journey
    Even those that have made the pilgrimage, may want to relive the entire experience or portions of it. The Hajj, due to Saudi Arabia’s visa restrictions, can only be undergone once every five years. Pictures and videos do not recreate the experience of being there in person.

THE SOLUTION

EON Reality and Midwam Edutainment, EON Reality’s partner in Saudi Arabia, created “The Hajj – VR Experience” for the Saudi Telecom Company (SCT). This experience combines beautiful 360 degree images and video to recreate the experience of traveling to Mecca on the Hajj. Worshippers travel to Arafat and Mina for prayer before pebble collecting at Muzdalifah. They then end the journey by exploring the Holy Mosque in the immersive virtual reality experience. This experience is available on both mobile devices and the Oculus Rift and was presented at GITEX, in Dubai.

Everyone Can Participate

By virtualizing the Hajj, all believers can experience what it is like to go on pilgrimage. Whether their inability to participate is due to health or wealth, everyone can step into Virtual Reality and experience a key tenet of their faith.

A Portable Religious Experience

The experience of visiting Mecca and performing Hajj is described as a very spiritual one. With this application, one only needs their mobile phone and they can have a religious experience. While it does not replace visiting Mecca for the Hajj, it can help worshippers understand the journey of Mohammed.

THE RESULTS

The Hajj – VR Experience was showcased at GITEX by SCT and Midwam in Dubai.