A new mobile app from Los Angeles-based media company RYOT allows users to step virtually into crisis zones, even taking them on a tour of the war-torn streets of Syria.
The project is a video called "Welcome to Aleppo" offering viewers a full panoramic view of Aleppo.
Users watching on a mobile device or wearing a virtual reality headset can shift their viewpoint at will to take in collapsing buildings and ruined streets.
Bryn Mooser is a Co-founder of RYOT.
He believes that with virtual reality, people get an opportunity to really see the scale of devastation.
"I think for the most part with virtual reality, what's exciting is that you get an opportunity to see, really, scale and scope. So as a war correspondent, as a crisis correspondent myself, I've really always struggled to show the scale of devastation after a disaster. And there's something about standing in the streets in Kathmandu, for instance, after the earthquake, of seeing how big the actual destruction was. That's hopefully an important moment to get somebody to take action, to get involved, to make a donation."
The Syria film includes a call for the audience to take action. It directs viewers to donate to humanitarian organizations.
Mooser hopes the virtual reality films will increase awareness and generate money for aid groups working on the ground.
RYOT has also announced a partnership with the Associated Press for a series of virtual reality stories that will roll out over the next five months.