Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.

 

Thomas Edison

Better Living Through VR

RATE THIS! +7
Posted in Software on 1st Apr, 2018 01:52 AM by Alex Muller

Residents settle into swivel chairs in a beauty shop on the campus of Ebenezer, a senior living community in the heart of the Minneapolis, Minn. They strap on Samsung Gear VR headsets. With a couple of clicks on the side of their goggles, they are transported to Stonehenge. Or find themselves sitting on the deck of a paddle boat cruising down the Mississippi River.

 

Or standing on stage with violinist and vocalist Gaelynn Lea as she sings a haunting ballad.

 

Some rock back and forth in their chairs, narrating aloud the scene in which they find themselves. Some squeal in delight. Others fall totally silent, craning their necks this way and that, immersed in a new experience.

 

They’re all part of a virtual reality for wellness pilot overseen by Joel Prevost, the administrator for Ebenezer’s Minneapolis campus, and Chris Mangold, Ebenezer’s lifelong learning coordinator.

 

“We focused on a group of around 30 seniors who would be part of the original study,” Prevost explained. These residents experienced virtual reality twice a week for one month, in sessions that lasted about 10 minutes each. Once a week, participants were asked about their feelings of wellness. About 90 percent of the pilot participants reported increased feelings of relaxation and well-being that lasted long after their VR session was over.

 

The startup behind the trial, Minneapolis-based Visual, provided the mobile phone-based VR rig, which comes loaded with their proprietary software that allows the residents to click through a menu of scenarios. That menu features content created by Visual in the last year with partners like Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota Opera, USA Dance, and the comedy venue Brave New Workshop.

 

It’s not exactly Ready Player One’s OASIS virtual world. The VR experience itself is limited to 360-degree videos that let the user look around a scene. But it’s enough to give the residents a taste of what VR can do.

 

“You feel like you’re part of [the scene],” says Ebenezer resident David Zimmer. “And it’s real easy to forget that you’re sitting in a chair looking through some goggles.”

 

The spillover effects from the VR experience surprised Visual’s president Esra Kucukciftci and founder/CEO Chuck Olsen. “People were more likely to socialize with friends and family—we presume because they had something to talk about that’s not, like, who broke their hip. It’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, did you go to the Louvre?’” says Olsen.

 

Speaking to a reporter, several enthusiastic participants expressed a desire for Visual to make the 360-degree experience a true VR environment, where they could interact with what they see and potentially with avatars of other residents or family and friends outside of Ebenezer.

 

Visual is exploring the development of a true VR experience, which Olsen says will take much more powerful VR computers and headsets. For now, the company is focused on making their current product more social.

 

“Step one will be, everyone is seeing the same content at the same time and can talk to each other,” says Olsen. “We want to do avatars, but that adds a lot of processing overhead that would be taxing to the devices, so that’s the next step.”

 

As for the residents of Ebenezer, they will continue to have access to Visual’s wellness VR package and equipment that can take them out of their community in the frozen North and transport them to places they might otherwise only dream of seeing in reality.


Tags: VRsoftwarehardwarebusinessvirtual reality

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Business on 2018-04-23 23:22:30
    Climate change: Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5m for Paris.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-04-23 23:17:24
    The foods that might help with dementia..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-04-22 23:49:35
    NASA’s proposed multi-billion orbiting moonbase used to.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2018-04-22 23:43:36
    Sunshine State Is Set to Get More Solar After Florida Ruling..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-04-22 23:36:57
    FDA approves first contact lens that gets darker in sunlight..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be mainstream..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower cost.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down to.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US energy..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation?..read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me