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    "Signs of Life" - The New Augmented Reality Sport Where Climate is the Winner

    by Evan Stites-Clayton 09/20/2019 04:37 PM BST

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          We asked ourselves the question: what would it look like if there was a sport which by its nature would have a positive impact on climate? We imagined a world in which futuristic climate athletes compete using a combination of fitness and technology to collect climate-relevant data in the real world. 

          In particular we were inspired by a challenge which our co-founder Vienna Looi has experienced first hand in her work with indigenous groups in Borneo. These groups hold ancestral claims to lands which are threatened by deforestation and development. However, they lack the data and evidence to show the borders of their territory. The work required to get this data involves going out into the wild with a machete, camera, and GPS trackers to find signs of life such as old homes and burial grounds that prove land rights. We believe that by timing, logging and streaming this work we can create an actual wilderness sports with professional competitors, amateur athletes, and fans. This is the inspirate for “Signs of Life.” 

          The emergence of Augmented Reality, Drones, Computer Vision and Live Streaming have already caused a major disruption in the world of sports as evidenced by the rise of e-Sports. Drone racing, Pokemon Go, and other such tech enabled sports that have taken off. We aim to combine these technologies with a new and critical ingredient absent from most of today’s sports: climate purpose.

          Top level competitors in “Signs of Life” will have the opportunity to leverage their fitness, creativity and technology skills to gather critical geo-spatial and photographic data with the potential to turn court cases in favor of indigenous land holders. Meanwhile amateur enthusiasts will be able to participate in local challenges that also have the potential to contribute to environmental efforts such as:

          • Invasive Species Identification
          • Trash and Plastic Waste Identification
          • Waste Receptacle Location
          • Tracking Ecosystem and Parkland Health

          Our hope is that through this work we can create not only a new sport which many diverse audiences will be able to participate in and enjoy, but a culture shift in which the champions of our society are not only succeeding in arbitrary physical feats but in fact are the best at solving the real world climate crisis that faces us today.

          Co-authors to your solution

          Vienna Looi, Evan Stites-Clayton, Valerie Pang, Iain Nash, Michelle Huang

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