Home South Asia Pakistan Hajj pilgrims may benefit from a “Virtual Reality App”

Hajj pilgrims may benefit from a “Virtual Reality App”

Innovative virtual reality startup, Labbaik VR, is a groundbreaking app by a Pakistani company that will allow Hajj pilgrims to train via immersive virtual reality-powered tools, realistic tours of sacred sites, and libraries of guidance to promote convenience and accessibility.

Hajj Pilgrims

News Desk |

Pakistan has welcomed a spectacular development for those planning to perform their first Hajj this year, thanks to Labbaik VR, am innovative virtual reality startup that has invented a simulator application to educate first-time Hajj pilgrims.

A report by the Express Tribune stated that Labbaik VR, a Pakistan-based startup, is an application that provides a series of benefits and training tools for extensive guidance on Hajj rites, the background of religious sites, and much more.

The company has been involved in using 2D technology to facilitate the pilgrims for the past seven years, and as per the CEO’s statement. 

Labbaik VR will also provide a real-time tracking feature in order to promote accessibility and connectivity amongst groups of Hajj pilgrims as they travel between the sacred sites from Madinah to Makkah. It will prove to be a powerful tool in promoting connectivity and making it easier to avoid getting lost.

Read more: Pilgrims descend on Mecca for ‘smart hajj’

Virtual Reality to Train First-Time Pilgrims

Speaking to ET, Shahriar Ashraf, CEO of the VR venture, noted that the app has been developed to address the challenges faced by Hajj pilgrims and eliminating their problems. Ashraf stated, “We hope to train them in a virtual environment that very closely resembles the actual sacred sites in Makkah so that when they go on the actual Hajj, they can perform the rites with ease and safety.”

This isn’t Labbaik VR’s first venture launched with the objective of providing training and awareness tools to Hajj Pilgrims. The company has been involved in using 2D technology to facilitate the pilgrims for the past seven years, and as per the CEO’s statement, Labbaik VR has succeeded in 30,000 Hajj pilgrims in 2016 alone.

An application that provides a series of benefits and training tools for extensive guidance on Hajj rites, the background of religious sites, and much more.

The CEO of Labbaik VR stated that the application is also a tool for virtual tourism, and added, “We also hope to provide a spiritual connection with the sacred sites to those who wish to perform Hajj but are unable to do so for any number of reasons.” Shahriar Ashraf explained that three years ago, the company had coined the idea of providing training to Hajj pilgrims through virtual reality solutions and training tools.

He said, “Now, for the first time, we will train 5,000 pilgrims using our simulator app. We have completed talks with the religious affairs ministry for this pilot project and expect to inaugurate it next month.” He added that the company will provide dongles powered with the app to private companies organizing Hajj so they can train their pilgrims before commencing the pilgrimage.

Read more: More than two million Muslims begin hajj pilgrimage

Virtual Hajj Made Possible

The CEO of Labbaik VR revealed that while manufacturing the app, the manufacturers attempted to make the depiction of the Holy sites of the Hajj pilgrimage as realistic as possible. Ashraf stated, “We have really tried to be accurate down to a centimetre to give users the most authentic virtual experience possible. Our blueprints for the virtual reconstruction of the sacred sites were drawn up with the help of experts who obtained their actual measurements.

Shahriar Ashraf explained that three years ago, the company had coined the idea of providing training to Hajj pilgrims through virtual reality solutions and training tools.

We also used a number of photos of the sites.” The CEO added that the app was manufactured using photographs ranging between 75,000 and 85,000 high definition results to obtain realistic measurements of the Holy Ka’aba and Haram, while thousands of pictures were used to depict all the rituals performed on the pilgrimage.

Labbaik VR has been manufactured to function as a multi-gadget application, and it will be available for download on Google Cardboard within six to eight months. The app will be able to operate in all the language spoken across Pakistan.

Read more: Qatar says Saudi blocking hajj access to its citizens

Ashraf further highlighted that the multi-gadget app will train pilgrims in all the rituals performed during Hajj, including tying the Ihram, reciting the correct prayers, and dealing with the process of immigration, catching flights and other important details.

He said, “We hope our app will provide such effective training that Saudi authorities will start seeing Pakistani pilgrims as the best trained. We also believe our app can be of use to Saudi Hajj authorities and volunteers in cases of emergency.”