Click looks at how VR is being used to help prosecute Nazis at WWII concentration camps and how it can be used to help learn a language.
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How VR is helping the ongoing hunt for war criminals.
And, prepare to enter your mind palace.
It's estimated that 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis
in the Holocaust with millions of others, many in concentration camps.
To try and bring justice to the innocent civilians who died,
on November the 20th 1945, the Nuremberg War Trials began.
71 years later, the prosecution of Nazi war criminals
And now, virtual reality is playing a part in the process.
Marc Cieslak travelled to Germany and Poland to find out how.
The town of Oswiecim in Poland is the sight of perhaps
The town of Oswiecim in Poland is the site of perhaps
the most infamous of Nazi concentration camps,
Between May 1940 and the camp's liberation by the red
Between May 1940 and the camp's liberation by the Red
Army in January 1945, 1.1 million people were killed here.
Most gassed by a cyanide-based pesticide, Zyklon B.
This is the Auschwitz two, Birkenau site.
This is where the vast majority of people were killed.
Gassed and then their bodies burned in the camp's crematoria.
Towards the end of the war, the Nazis destroyed those
crematoria, trying to cover up some of the appalling atrocities
Pavel Savitski has worked here for nine years.
Most of the Jews deported to Auschwitz first came
Within minutes they were separated for ever.
They told people they would be living here with their families
But first they need to go through disinfection process,
Usually around 75, 80% of each transporter was taken straight
The Nuremberg trials initially prosecuted 21 senior members
of the Nazi regime for war crimes, including the crimes in the camps.
But many of the perpetrators of these atrocities,
SS officers and camp guards, remained at large and they are still
being pursued by the authorities to this day.
Here at the Bavarian State criminal office in Munich,
they are working on new methods to assist with the prosecution
of war crimes committed over 70 years ago.
Ralph is a digital imaging expert here.
He works with technology like 3-D printed re-creations
of gunshot wounds to assist in gathering evidence.
His team has created a 3-D model of Auschwitz,
which can be visited in virtual reality.
So Ralph, how long did you spend at Auschwitz capturing
TRANSLATION: We spent five days in Auschwitz.
We took stock of the buildings that are still standing, then we laser
Virtual reality is an incredibly powerful tool for immersing
the viewer in the experience they are having.
TRANSLATION: I think within five to ten years,
virtual reality will become a standard tool for police, not just
Because it's a way to make scenes of crime accessible
A version of the 3-D Auschwitz which doesn't use VR has already
But why is this model necessary in the first place?
To find out, I travel to the town of Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart.
The building we are just coming up to, for 200 years,
And then in the 1960s, it took on a new role,
it became the Central Office for the Investigation
Essentially, the people that work here are Nazi hunters.
A former criminal prosecutor, Yens Rommel now heads
Its files contain the names of thousands of possible suspects,
along with a staggering number of documents relating
What you find here is a paper database system, dealing
really with index cards, explaining which person,
which location, the scene of a crime, for example.
We have 1.7 million cards here, dealing alone with 700,000 people.
So how does this 3-D model, virtual reality model of Auschwitz
When it comes to a specific line of defence, a defence strategy used
in almost all cases, the defendant admits
that he was exactly in Auschwitz, but generally he says
I didn't know anything about what was going
It can help to understand what the person involved could see
For examples, from a watchtower over the camp, or from the fence
We saw a trial this year with Mr Hanning,
Former SS guard Reinhold Hanning was convicted of accessory
to 170,000 murders and sentenced to five years in prison.
The judge in this case pointed out the 3-D model made it clear
what he would have been able to see from his watchtower.
We are going to go inside one of the watchtowers and see
what you can actually see from inside here.
Using the virtual reality model of Auschwitz, I went
inside a watchtower to see what the lines of sight were and see
And you can see pretty much everything.
There is an urgency to the work of prosecuting the perpetrators
Well, it's not an easy job to do, to look each day into these crimes,
And sometimes it can be frustrating to see that 95% of the names
we are checking here when it comes to suspects,
that these persons have died already.
The virtual reality model of Auschwitz was uncannily accurate,
but there's one thing it can't recreate and that is the unusual
atmosphere of this place, perhaps the most notorious of all
A place where 1.1 million people were killed.
Hello and welcome to the Week in Tech.
It was the week that Google and Facebook introduced measures
they say will help curb the spread of fake news stories
Twitter also tried to clean up its act, putting the mute
on hateful content, suspending several American activists
and announcing new ways to tackle abusive messages.
And, not content with showing you a street view of the world,
Google this week also showed off the entire world in virtual reality.
Exclusive to, no, not its Daydream headset, but the HTC
Vive, users could zoom around iconic skyscrapers.
Soar above beautiful landscapes, but no doubt will have many just
And if getting about by bike is your bag, it was also the week
that a safety helmet made of paper won the James Dyson Design Award.
The recyclable eco-helmet is designed to disintegrate
with age, and so it can only be used a limited number of times,
but it can fold up to fit snugly into your rucksack.
And finally, if you're sick of your pizza delivery being stuck
in traffic, a company in New Zealand has started
The aim is to have piping hot pizza in your lap less than ten
It could only be a matter of time before the skies are filled
Ever tried to learn a language but never quite got round to it
or kept up the good work for long enough?
Well, some of the latest apps and software could be just
And in my quest to learn a little bit of Spanish,
And here at the University of Westminster, this
Combining the ancient concept of the memory palace
This visual way of organising information aims to help you learn,
retain and recall things by picturing objects
and creating your own connections to remember them.
So why not do this with learning a language?
This exercise teaches how to conjugate the verb
The objects I'm seeing represent the ending, so the 'O'
for ostrich is hablo, I speak, and so on.
Hablan, so it's just a woman named Ann.
When engrossed in it, it's easy to memorise and then
you've learned a pattern are many other Spanish verbs follow.
So now, if you actually take off the headset...
So, how did I do once the headset was off?
It is amazing because you do come away from the experience,
and I think that's partly VR, you come away from the feeling
I'm certainly visualising those things.
But it's a very slow way to learn a language, isn't it?
People spend years trying to learn these things.
The most important thing, particularly as an adult learner,
if you are looking to use a language at a high level,
is to understand the structure and the grammar of the language.
So those aren't actually, it's not that much in terms
of content, but it's complex content and it's all
The software is already being created in Arabic,
French, German, Italian, Spanish and English.
And after a few more tweaks, will be available in beta
Of course, apps coaching numerous languages have
But for the purpose of this piece, I've looked at the Spanish lessons
Babble teaches you to read, write, speak and
It even tests your pronunciation skills, which is actually
The only problem is, if it takes you a few
times to get it right, it becomes quite irritating
Duo Lingo works in a similar way, gamifying the experience
and letting you achieve a Street count for how many days
Pursue pictures itself as a social network for language learning.
Its 16 million worldwide users can communicate with and give or receive
But the team behind the Mem Rise app have prioritised the importance
of learning conversational language from locals,
as well as giving the app a bit of character.
They've recently returned from a four-month road trip
across Europe, collecting video content for their Meet
Having this added feature of a person actually talking
to you in a conversational way, I think does help.
In a way, it just makes you feel that little bit more pleased
with yourself that you've understood a real person talking
As well as having big gaming features and off-line mode
similar to other apps, it also uses means to help
similar to other apps, it also uses memes to help
Like this Chinese symbol for the woman.
Ultimately though, all apps take commitment and whilst the memory
palace has clearly etched place in my mind now a week later,
the only full sentence I think I've actually
learnt is "Lo siento, no hablo Espanol."
translation - "sorry I don't speak Spanish."
Right, Spanish viewers, marks out of ten please,
Now this fascinating idea that you can bring a mind palace
into virtual reality, but I did find myself thinking
the idea of a mind palace was that it imagines,
so you did a lot of work within your brain.
Now you can visualise it in VR, does that kind of spoiled
I understand your point, but I do think that actually
having done it in VR, in what is probably the most
engaging environment I could, I can really commit the things to memory.
Because you know that funny feeling where you come out of a VR
experience and you feel old we had to be back in the real world.
And I think if at the same time you've actually learned
something in the process, then that's pretty good.
So, if I were to ask you conjugate verbs are now,
you would be able to go to that space and pick out the right thing?
Because I've learned the ending is still a lot of verbs,
but I still don't have a great deal of vocabulary and that's
what I would need to develop, so I actually knew what the words
were, so I could then conjugate the verb.
We're going to Australia now, would you believe?
Jen Copestake is there and she's been taking a look at some
Week in, week out on Click, we see technologies that
But could they also change what fundamentally makes us human?
This is something being discussed in Sydney at the BBC
Addressing our increasingly complex relationship with artificial
intelligence, the Earth's fragile ecosystem and space,
leading researchers and a couple of astronauts brought their ideas
for how people could use technology to enhance our species
Retired astronaut Ron Garan was deeply moved by his time
in space and believes travel above the Earth could bring
a new perspective to our lives on the ground.
He has made two trips to the International Space Station
and is now the chief pilot at World View,
Its aim is to bring tourists to the outer
atmosphere using gigantic, high altitude balloons.
Blown up, they are the size of a professional football pitch.
Attached is a pressurised, gondola-like craft with
room for eight people - two crew and six passengers.
Travelling 30 kilometres up, there will also be a bar
The plan is to send the first trip up before the end of 2018
and at a cost of $75,000 per ticket, it's a relatively cheap trip.
I think the price will initially go up, but we are looking to find ways
to bring the prices as low as we possibly can.
We called World View for a reason, it is written in our DNA,
that this will be a transformative experience and I believe,
the company believes, that the more people who get
to see our planet from that vantage point the better of all of us
Back on Earth, with great technological progress,
comes increasing piles of electronic waste.
There are more than 2 billion smartphones in use around the world,
all containing small amounts of precious metals including
gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium.
And finding simple ways to locally recycled the precious materials
And finding simple ways to locally recycle the precious materials
from smartphones is the focus of Venus, who presented the case
So here we have a fragment, which actually is pretty cool
because it applies high voltage to pull apart the components
So it's really like using a super powerful lightning bolt to separate
out the case, the glass, the circuit board from mobile
A drone is programmed to identify a circuit board in a pile of waste
and relate this info to a robot, who picks up the circuit board
The furnace uses uses precisely controlled high-temperature
reactions to draw out the viable metal alloys.
Any toxic or unwanted materials can be safely incinerated
So, I mentioned the conference was also challenging our ideas
I had a role here too, giving an artificially
intelligent Chatbot named Rose, a human body to speak
What do you think, should we fear artificial intelligence?
I am baffled as to what Stephen Hawking and the others think
This experiment attempts to challenge our idea
of where we end and artificial intelligence begins.
I'll have more on that experience in a later episode of Click,
That was Jen in Australia and now to a truly American phenomenon.
After nine months and 35 races, this weekend marks the culmination
As you are undoubtedly aware, for drivers are all tied for first
As you are undoubtedly aware, four drivers are all tied for first
place, they've all got the same number of points.
So, whoever wins this weekend's race, wins the championship.
The tiniest advantage could do it, so Dave Lee stuck in his earplugs
and spent a weekend with the teams who are targeting immortality.
In the USA, only American football gets more viewers than NASCAR,
and that's because of the drama out there on the track,
where every fraction of a second can make the difference
Which is why NASCAR teams are constantly looking
to new technology to help them understand more about how
I jumped at the chance to check out the teams and their tech
when they raced in Sonoma, part of California's
So we are in the bustling garage area where all the teams are making
the final touches to their cars for the racing this weekend.
All the changes they make end up being inspected
just around the corner, to make sure none of the teams
are doing anything unfairly to gain an advantage over everyone else.
The teams must line up around the block to be inspected.
Until recently, this process used to rely on paper documents.
Now, it's all synced up in the Cloud with data
It's saved more than 20,000 sheets of paper and saved many hours
Basically, everything used to be done with hand-held
It took seven, eight, nine people to inspect a vehicle.
Now, as you can see, we can do it with three people,
just based on the fact everything now is automated and we have
The partnership with Microsoft is designed to help the teams
and the fans make sense of the vast amount of data
But the new technology is also being used to stop teams
The system can automatically detect certain infractions.
The system will automatically detect if they've driven through more
than three pit boxes on entry or exit.
It will automatically detect the vehicle position,
so if the vehicle is outside of the box and they start to work
on it the system automatically flags that.
And when the crew is potentially over the wall too soon,
the system, again, will automatically flags that.
The system uses Hawk-Eye, the same tech used in tennis matches,
to spot things like when a pit crew jumps over a barrier to early.
If you are a driver, it's now a lot harder to get away
with some of the more sneaky tactics in racing.
If they were going to get rid of one type of technology, it
would be all the technology they use to police others,
You can't get away with much, especially race time
with all those cameras, that system they have set up,
Exhaust for drivers, but technology has seemed
to have won over most of NASCAR's fanatical followers.
As a fan I can look up how my driver's doing,
I can see all the specs, I can listen online
Sometimes it's good to kind of see the old days, let them race and do
I think technology can take away some of the uncertainties,
where people were not really sure what the call was.
You can have the technology help settle that for them.
The winner this weekend was Tony Stewart,
who managed to win it using a refreshing low-tech tactic.
He bashed another driver off the track.
That was Dave Lee at the NASCAR and that it for this week.
Thanks for watching, follow us on Twitter throughout
It's been cold and frosty this Saturday morning, with icy issues
Click looks at how VR is being used to help prosecute Nazis at WWII concentration camps and how it can be used to help learn a language.