Water-kennis: an immersive media experience

Turn on your tap, shower or flush your toilet, and clean water flows out. But where does this water come from? The availability of enough clean water has become an issue for societies all over the world. At KWR, we work on finding the best way to manage the water system, with sustainability and circularity as a priority. The interactive app ‘Water-kennis’ introduces the basics of the water supply and some of the topics that KWR works on. Water-kennis does this in an educational and engaging way with an immersive media experience.

Image 1. The mobile application Water-kennis.

Creative learning about the water system

As part of ULTIMATE, an EU funded project, NTNU together with KWR to developed Water-kennis, an immersive media experience (IMX) in the shape of a location-based mobile app. Users of the app start with a drinking water budget of 120 liters (the average daily water consumption of a person in the Netherlands). They are required to complete a number of challenges. Mistakes results in the loss of a part of their drinking water budget. After completing the game, they are asked to make choices about water use (e.g., taking a shower, flushing the toilet, cooking, etc.) based on their remaining drinking water budget.

The app allows users to learn about the different stages of the water system that brings water to their home.

Image 2. Screenshots from Water-kennis

Why an immersive media experience

“An Immersive media [experience] is digital media that immerses the user in an interactive and realistic environment to provide a more complete and engaging experience.” (Andrew Perkis, Project Lead at NTNU)

An IMX comes in different forms: Virtual reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR). These are all commonly referred to as eXtended Reality (XR).

These artistic interventions offer an attractive way to engage non-experts on topics they might not be familiar with or interested in.

Water-kennis is an example of how we can use IMX to help non-experts understand where water comes from, how water is used, and how water is managed.

Image 3. Water-kennis was co-developed by a team at KWR and NTNU

Water-kennis was developed as part of the ULTIMATE project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 869318.