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VR app bridges barriers to visiting sacred mosques of Mecca and Jerusalem

Pilgrimages to the holiest sites are fundamental to the Islamic religious experience. But physical disabilities and economic constraints mean not everyone can visit. MetaMosque hopes to bridge the gap by bringing mosques to those who can't travel.

Palestinian-American Samera Abed, who founded MetaMosque, initially conceptualized the app for her 90-year-old mother. Since her mother was increasingly unable to visit religious sites in person, Abed designed a VR app that would allow her to virtually travel to her childhood mosque, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Using MetaMosque, anyone anywhere — who has access to a VR headset — can step inside iconic sacred buildings.

Beta versions of MetaMosque are available for iOS, Android, PC and Meta Quest. At launch, the app features Al Haram in Mecca and the Dome of the Rock in Al Aqsa, Jerusalem.

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MetaMosque addresses a specific niche: making religious experiences universally accessible. Amidst a global shift toward enhanced inclusivity, it underscores the importance of ensuring that even deeply personal and spiritual experiences are available to all, regardless of their physical or economic limitations. Purpose-driven innovators: which niche is waiting for you to advance equality through technological solutions?

Spotted by: Fadila Merizak

Innovation of the day

Photo credit: Stacey Franco