JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 577

Could virtual reality be the next frontier for treating depression?

A new study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open on Monday, suggests that VR therapy could reduce depressive symptoms by boosting feelings of self-compassion and alleviating self-criticism. 

"Self-compassion is important in soothing feelings of distress, and without it distress can escalate and become unbearable," Dr. Chris Brewin, a professor of health psychology at University College London and the study's lead author, told The Huffington Post in an email. "We now know that many patients with depression and other disorders have real problems in being compassionate towards themselves, although they are often very good at being compassionate to others."

For the preliminary study, 15 adults with depression underwent three sessions of virtual reality therapy, which had previously been tested on healthy volunteers. 

In the virtual reality sessions, the patients wore a virtual reality headset which allowed them to see from the perspective of a life-size avatar. To create the illusion that the avatar was their own body -- an experience known in VR as "embodiment" -- the patients were able to see the body moving in a mirror the exact same way that they were moving. 

While "embodied," the participants underwent eight-minute sessions, during which they were told to express compassion toward an avatar of a distressed child. As the patient spoke kindly towards the child, the child calmed down and gradually stopped crying. Next, the patients were embodied in the child's figure, and then listened to the avatar of their adult selves expressing compassion towards them.

The patients underwent three weekly sessions of this virtual reality exercise. Then, one month after the therapy, the patients answered questions about their moods and mental health. Nine of the patients reported reduced depression symptoms, and four experienced a significant drop in the severity of their symptoms. Some of the patients said that they were less self-critical in real-life situations after undergoing the therapy. 

“By comforting the child and then hearing their own words back, patients are indirectly giving themselves compassion," Brewin said in a statement. "The aim was to teach patients to be more compassionate towards themselves and less self-critical, and we saw promising results."

Excessive self-criticism is often a central component of depression, and VR-based therapies may be uniquely equipped to target this aspect of the illness. 

"We think the responses people have to the [virtual reality] scenario are automatic and may bypass resistance to experiencing self-compassion, or to accepting compassion from a therapist," Brewin said. "VR can also be accessed remotely and may be useful for people who don't want to see a therapist or feel too ashamed to do this."

The study's sample size was small and there was no control group, so the findings are very preliminary. Still, they offer reason for optimism and directions for future research.  

"Virtual reality can offer new types of therapeutic experience that are potentially very powerful through the process of embodiment in avatars," Brewin said. He noted, however, "We also need to develop the technique further based on what our initial patient sample have told us."


Image credit:


Personalised smartphone applications and wearable technologies that are attuned to the user's state of mind are offering customised ways of helping people cope with mental illness.

The rising incidence of  places great strain on  systems and societies around the world. In the EU,  are already estimated to cost the economy €798 billion a year – a figure that is expected to double by 2030.

Given the prevalence of , some researchers seeking alternative ways to treat the more common conditions are turning to technology to help.

While there has been a boom in self-help and digital wellness apps on smartphones and tablets promising support for mental health issues, much of the data they generate needs to be first interpreted by  before it can be used in an effective recovery programme.

'Most existing apps stop with the data – it's not part of a programme of interventions you can take,' said Professor Corina Sas, a researcher in human-computer interaction at Lancaster University in the UK. 'At present, data capture is very disconnected with the high-level-type thinking we make in terms of emotional processing.'

To tackle this, Prof. Sas and her colleagues are attempting to create more intelligent, interactive technologies that harness information about the emotional states of users over time to automatically offer tailored advice on dealing with mental health issues.

Through the AffecTech project, they are developing a personalised, low-cost toolkit using a range of technologies for individuals with 'affective' health conditions like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. They aim to support people with mild to modern conditions—some of whom may not visit a doctor, but could benefit from this technology.

'The idea is to support people in capturing emotional responses, but then to use new types of interactive technologies that can help people make sense of this,' said Prof. Sas, who is the principal investigator for AffecTech.

The project began at the start of 2017 and involves a consortium of universities, health and tech organisations. It is currently exploring different devices and technologies to help track patients' emotions and then suggest ways for people to manage their issues. These include using apps in conjunction with sensors on mobile phones, smart watches or other wearable devices, along with artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technology.

Emotional management

'My vision is that we build a toolbox of interfaces involving different types of technology,' said Prof. Sas. After interpreting a user's emotional state using technologies such as AI, the system would then offer relevant therapeutic activities to help the individual manage their condition.

One approach, she says, could be to use wearable cameras to allow users to record events taking place when they are in a particular emotional state, which they could later watch to help them understand the factors that may trigger positive and negative emotions.

The team has also tested prototypes of wrist-worn, colour-changing biosensors that help users track their own emotions.

Another idea stems from colouring in intricate mandala patterns, which some research has shown to reduce anxiety and is growing in popularity through the sale of adult colouring books. 'Imagine a cube on which you move your finger and start colouring in patterns,' said Prof. Sas.

She describes this type of emotional management as a 'paradigm shift' that could not only have long-term mental health benefits for patients, but also lead to major cost savings for health services.

The project, which includes the Leeds NHS Trust as a member, is also seeking to test the technologies with users recruited through national health services, charities and other communities.

But while  can be used to help patients manage their emotional state, it can often lack a key element that personal contact with health professionals can provide – empathy. To address this, some researchers are using advances in AI to offer patients support on chat-based apps.

Chat app

The Shim project, run by a team of psychologists, researchers, writers, engineers and designers, is combining techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy – a talking therapy commonly used to treat people with mental health issues – with human-like support on a mobile-based chat app.

The system uses AI to spot language patterns and keywords to create personalised text-based conversations that help to shift the user's mental perspective when they report a negative thought.

Dr. Kien Hoa Ly, a researcher in behavioural sciences and learning at Linköping University in Sweden and chief executive of the project's company Hello Shim, explained that the app uses positive psychology to help a user reflect more optimistically on their own life.

'In the everyday interaction, we are using positive psychology to make the user reflect upon positive things in life, experiences and what the user is grateful for,' said Dr. Ly. 'We are building a mental map of every user and their inputs. As a user talks to Shim it grows, which makes Shim remember more things and ask more questions.'

The app might ask the user, for example, how they felt when they were doing an activity they enjoy such as hiking in the mountains, getting them to reflect on positive emotions.

This use of empathy differentiates the app from other  apps, says Dr. Ly. 'Our mission is to build the world's best data model and predictive tools to help people improve their wellbeing,' he said. 'We do this by understanding what specific reply from Shim is most likely to be helpful given a negative thought from a specific user.'

The company is also experimenting with social features, such as sharing positive thoughts with friends and family.

Since launching on Apple mobile devices in Sweden last November, Shim has been downloaded 10,000 times. The company hopes to launch the app in the US later this year.

A pilot study published last year showed that participants who talked to Shim reported a higher level of emotional wellbeing and lower stress levels than a control group after using the app for two weeks. Shim is now planning a larger study, which may involve collaborating with several US universities.

'In the future, we will see a world where you pick up your phone when you are feeling down to get emotional support in the moment,' Dr. Ly said.


Image credit:


Sometimes, your best therapist is yourself—or at least a CGI avatar of yourself. A new study published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that virtual reality (VR) therapy can serve as a possible solution for treating depressed patients by encouraging self-appraisal and compassion.

The experiment is designed to target depressed people’s tendency to self-criticize. A major symptom of depression is that people are not able to hold themselves in high regard, and consequently blame and punish themselves for any behavior or action they perceive to have a negative effect. In order to alleviate this tendency, patients are encouraged to practice self-compassion.

“Self-compassion is important in soothing feelings of distress, and without it distress can escalate and become unbearable,” Dr. Chris Brewin, a psychology professor and the study's lead author, told The Huffington Post. “We now know that many patients with depression and other disorders have real problems in being compassionate towards themselves, although they are often very good at being compassionate to others.”

In the experiment, 15 adult subjects with depression participated in three weekly therapy sessions in which they alternated between playing the role of therapist and that of patient. After donning a VR headset and body motion sensors, each subject played an adult who expresses compassion and affirmations to a distressed child. Then, the subject switched to take the place of the child and heard the same words, now expressed to them, in their own voice.

A month after the subjects completed the three-week program, they answered a questionnaire that asked them about their mental health. Nine of the subjects reported a decrease in depression symptoms while four reported significant improvement.

This is only a preliminary step; the sample size in the study was small and there are many other techniques to be tested, but the experiment lays the groundwork for a future in which therapeutic VR could be a viable alternative to in-person therapy options.


Image credit:


SINGAPORE - Students at some secondary schools will have a chance to use virtual reality (VR) to understand what it is like to have depression.

By donning a VR headset, they will take on the persona of a virtual character - a girl who suffers from depression - and listen to her inner thoughts like their own.

After the two-minute session, the students will discuss the scenario and how they feel.

The one-time sessions, to be conducted by staff from Touch Community Services, are part of a programme called Do You M.I.N.D.? that teaches secondary school students about mental health through games and classroom learning.

Started by the charitable organisation in October last year, Do You M.I.N.D.? has reached out to about 900 students from eight secondary schools so far.

Besides the VR sessions, Touch also launched a mental health-themed train at HarbourFront MRT station on Tuesday (Oct 30) to promote public awareness and education on mental health.

On the interior of the train is information on the four common mental health conditions among youth that the organisation sees - depression, self-harm, anxiety and eating disorders. There is also information on coping methods and short stories from people who have these conditions.
The train is scheduled to run for 18 hours daily until the end of November on the North East Line. The campaign is expected to reach some 840,000 commuters.

Touch chief executive officer James Tan said the organisation decided to use VR to educate students on mental health as that method has been shown by research to be more effective than some other learning methods.

Research in January last year from the National Training Laboratory, a non-profit organisation which deals with applied behavioural science, showed that VR training yielded a 75 per cent retention rate, compared to a 5 per cent and a 10 per cent rate for lecture-style learning and reading respectively, he added.

Besides educational programmes in schools, Touch also provides counselling and therapy, as well as a peer support group programme for youths at risk, or those who have mental health conditions.

Mayor of North East District Desmond Choo, who was guest of honour at the launch, said that awareness of mental health still needs to be promoted because of misconceptions.

"I think there is still a general lack of awareness of what is depression and anxiety," he added.

"To many people, it is just a temporary thing that you can snap out of. But for somebody facing this, it is a real medical condition."


Image credit:


Telling a depressed person to suck it up, is about as effective as telling a patient on dialysis to grow an extra pair of kidneys. In an effort to help boost self-confidence among depressed people, researchers have developed a virtual reality therapy that encourages patients to be less harsh on themselves, which could help thwart future depressive episodes.

The recent study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open and funded by the Medical Research Council.

Researchers from University College London, which worked alongside the ICREA-University of Barcelona, have conjectured for years that virtual therapy may be able to help treat mental health problems.


An out-of-body experience


The researchers tried the therapy on 15 patients with depression, aged 23 to 61 years. Ten were men and five were women. Ten of the patients were taking anti-depressants during the study; seven were receiving psychological therapy, while seven others were awaiting such therapy; and one had finished one course of therapy.

The treatment consisted of a technique referred to as “embodiment,” where patients wear a virtual reality headset that allows them to see the world from the perspective of a virtual body, otherwise know as an avatar. Participants were asked to mentally identify with the avatar, which was an exact replica of each patient’s body.

They then noticed a different avatar of a small child that was crying. They were asked to interact kindly with the child in an effort to comfort and console them. Patients asked the child to remember a time when it was happy and think of someone who loved them.

At this point in the experiment, the roles were switched. The scientists changed the headset so that the patient was embodied as the small avatar child, which mimicked the patient’s body movements. The patients then heard the exact phrases they said to the child, said back to them, in their own voice, by the adult avatar.


Patients report a heightened sense of self-respect


When the patients reported back a month later, the results were encouraging. Nine of the patients reported that their symptoms of depression and self-criticism had decreased. Among four of these patients, the decrease was medically significant.

Other patients claimed to have more self-compassion. Reports of the therapy overall were positive. Repeated sessions seemed to heighten the experience. However, some of the test subjects reported no changes.

According to lead author of the study, Prof. Chris Brewin, “People who struggle with anxiety and depression can be excessively self-critical when things go wrong in their lives. In this study, by comforting the child and then hearing their own words back, patients are indirectly giving themselves compassion. The aim was to teach patients to be more compassionate towards themselves and less self-critical, and we saw promising results.”

Co-author, Prof. Mel Slater added, “We now hope to develop the technique further to conduct a larger controlled trial, so that we can confidently determine any clinical benefit.”

Low budget virtual reality systems for domestic purposes have become more prevalent in the past few years. Slater is optimistic that virtual therapy may be a viable treatment option that can be done at home.

The results of the study are promising, but the researchers note that the population was too small to deduce anything conclusive at a general level. The researchers encourage future studies with larger patient populations to verify the benefits of virtual therapy.


Image credit:


In the coming adventure video game Sea of Solitude, the main character — a young woman named Kay — navigates a partly submerged city as she faces a multitude of red-eyed scaly creatures.

None are as terrifying as her own personal demons. As the game progresses, Kay realizes the creatures she is encountering are humans who turned into monsters when they became too lonely. To save herself, she fights to overcome her own loneliness.

Kay was modeled after the game’s creative director, Cornelia Geppert of Jo-Mei Games, an independent game studio, who struggled after a 2013 breakup. “I felt like I was trapped in a cage,” Ms. Geppert, 37, said of her experience.

Sea of Solitude, which Electronic Arts will publish this year, is among a growing number of video games that are tackling mental health issues.

Last year, a game called Celeste explored depression and anxiety through a protagonist who had to avoid physical and emotional obstacles. In 2017’s fantasy action-adventure video game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, a young Celtic warrior deals with psychosis.

Other games in recent years, including Night in the Woods and Pry, have delved into self-identity, anger issues and post-traumatic stress disorder. All followed the 2013 interactive fiction game Depression Quest, which asked players to step into the shoes of a character living with depression.

These games are a far cry from the industry’s better-known story lines of battlefield heroics or the zombie apocalypse. But as a cultural conversation around mental health grows louder, makers of content are responding. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five American adults lives with a mental illness.

“Mental health is becoming a more central narrative in our culture, with greater efforts to normalize mental health challenges,” said Eve Crevoshay, executive director of Take This, a nonprofit that educates video game developers on best practices around portraying mental health. “With that trend comes response from creative industries, including games.” (Take This was founded in 2013 after the suicide of a video game journalist prompted a debate about the issue.)

To date, most of the games tackling mental health have come from independent makers, which are typically more willing and able to take risks by exploring unusual subject matter. Sea of Solitude points to a shift: a gamble by Electronic Arts, one of the industry’s largest publishers and better known for its Madden football and Battlefield war games, to invest in the topic.

“We were immediately captivated by Connie’s passion and artistic vision for Sea of Solitude, which is unique, beautifully realized and made more powerful by being an important one,” said Rob Letts, general manager of EA Originals, the label focused on publishing independent games.

Some in the industry said the interactive nature of games made them more effective than film or television at dealing with mental health. Embodying a video game character who suffers from depression might leave a deeper impression of the challenges of the illness than simply watching a film about the same character, for example.

Video games can be “a more effective way of bouncing back from negative moods than passive forms of media like TV or movies,” said Raffael Boccamazzo, a mental health practitioner in Seattle who works with Take This.

That was what Sam Rodriguez, 26, experienced after playing one of these video games, Night in the Woods. Ms. Rodriguez, a freelance writer in Atlanta, said a diagnosis of bipolar disorder last year had left her feeling isolated and lost.

But she said she felt a connection to the protagonist of Night in the Woods, Mae, a college dropout who returns to her hometown but struggles to reconnect with family and friends. Ms. Rodriguez’s first play-through of the game was extremely emotional, she said, because “I was able to experience the world through the eyes of someone like me, who felt helpless and aimless in life.” She added that she felt especially drawn to Mae’s use of sarcasm to deflect and bury her own problems.

While Ms. Rodriguez was already in treatment, she said, the game motivates her to be more honest and receptive with her therapist. She has since become an ambassador in a Take This program, in which she regularly discusses mental health on her social media channels and on the live-streaming platform Twitch.

Makers of mental health games said they had seen a similar reaction from other players. After the 2016 simulation role-playing game Stardew Valley — which does not punish players for not completing tasks and creates a slow-paced atmosphere where the objective is to take care of a run-down farm — was released, Eric Barone, the game’s creator, received hundreds of messages, he said. Players wrote to share their stories of how the game helped them cope with difficult periods in their lives.

“One story that comes to mind is a person whose little brother had autism, and as a result had great difficulty in relating with him,” said Mr. Barone, 31. “But playing Stardew Valley caused him to open up and allowed the two brothers to bond in a way that was never possible before.”

Some makers are now developing games to explicitly promote better mental health. Orpheus Self Care Entertainment, a start-up that was founded last year, is publishing virtual reality games in which players practice mindfulness and meditation through activities like dancing. In one game, players move their bodies in virtual reality to create patterns and shapes that move and change color.

IThrive Games Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to improve mental health in teenagers through games and education, is also working on a new mobile game for teenagers who suffer from anxiety. The nonprofit is experimenting with a few different game styles — from role-playing to choose-your-own-adventure — for it. IThrive hopes to test the game by next year.

“Asking someone to play with you sets a very different vibe than asking someone to talk about their problems,” said Kelli Dunlap, iThrive’s director of mental health research.

Ms. Crevoshay of Take This said the games industry was at a tipping point in how it accepted and embraced mental health challenges. She said she wanted to see more mainstream developers tackle the topic and more support for gamers who spoke out about these challenges.

“We know these are not easy changes to make,” she said. “But we want to try.”


Image credit:


Page 7 of 66

Recent Posts

Phantom movements in augmented reality helps patients with chronic intractable phantom limb pain

People who lose an arm or leg often experience phantom limb pain, as if the missing limb was still there. Phantom limb pain can become a serious chronic condition that significantly reduces the patients' quality of life. It is still unclear why phantom limb pain and other phantom sensations occur. Several medical and non-medical treatments have been proposed to alleviate phantom limb pain. Examples include mirror therapy, various types of medications, acupuncture, and implantable nerve stimulators. However, in many cases nothing helps. This was the situation for the 14 arm amputees who took part in the first clinical trial of a new treatment, invented by Chalmers researcher Max Ortiz Catalan, and further developed with his multidisciplinary team in the past years. "We selected the most difficult cases from several clinics," Dr Ortiz Catalan says. "We wanted to focus on patients with chronic phantom limb pain who had not responded to any treatments. Four of the patients were constantly medicated, and the others were not receiving any treatment at all because nothing they tried had helped them. They had been experiencing phantom limb pain for an average of 10 years." The patients were treated with the new method for 12 sessions....

Fighting virtual reality sickness

Columbia Engineering Professor Steven K. Feiner and Ajoy Fernandes MS'16 have developed a method of combating virtual reality (VR) sickness that can be applied to consumer head-worn VR displays, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR, and Google Cardboard. Their approach dynamically, yet subtly, changes the user's field of view (FOV) in response to visually perceived motion, as the user virtually traverses an environment while remaining physically stationary. The study showed that by strategically and automatically manipulating FOV, the degree of VR sickness experienced by participants can be significantly reduced. Furthermore, the researchers accomplished this without decreasing the participants' sense of presence in the virtual environment, and without the majority of the participants even being aware of the intervention. The study was presented at IEEE 3DUI 2016 (IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces) on March 20, where it won the Best Paper Award. "2016 is the year of VR and it's estimated that over 200 million VR headsets will be sold by 2020," says Computer Science Professor Feiner, who directs the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab. "But VR sickness, which has symptoms similar to motion sickness, poses a barrier for many users of this immersive technology....

Researchers warn about psychological impact of virtual reality

London: Researchers have warned that immersion in virtual reality (VR) can cause behavioural changes in consumers that may last even after they leave the virtual environment. The technological capacity for generating virtual worlds from home computers will soon be widely available to the general public, as special head-mounted displays are brought to market that create the illusion of being immersed in virtual three-dimensional worlds. But citing recent studies, Michael Madary and Thomas Metzinger from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany said that VR may create vast opportunities for psychological manipulation - a risk that has received far less attention so far. "These studies suggest that VR poses risks that are novel, that go beyond the risks of traditional psychological experiments in isolated environments, and that go beyond the risks of existing media technology for the general public," the researchers wrote in a recently published article in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI. Based on their analysis of the risks, both researchers offered concrete recommendations for the use of VR. For example, in experimental work developing new clinical applications, researchers should be careful not to create false hopes in patients. They should repeatedly remind them of the merely experimental...

Adding Emotions to the VR Learning Experience

My heyday was back in the ’90s shuffling through clunky Nintendo game cartridges with a school friend as we weighed playing Duck Hunt for the umpteenth time, Donkey Kong or something else. I’d go on to spend some time with Sonic the Hedgehog — that fiery little rascal — throw some kicks around in Mortal Kombat, and make my way through this NBA basketball video game in which the big gimmick was that all the players had these outrageously-sized heads. As time went on, I played games less, but I always marvel at how they continue to evolve — the technology delivering this entertainment often pointing ahead to what’s on the horizon. Among the many capabilities today’s gaming technologies afford players is the chance to play not just virtually but also with and against people who do not have to be sitting next to them. Gaming partners can be many, many miles away, and in these environments, players can pick a character to represent them or choose something like themselves. To add another layer to the mix, it looks like some day in the future, the likenesses people introduce to the playing field — their avatars — may show their...


Virtual reality (VR) is the technology that simulates real world experience. Using a “shoebox”-like helmet with a screen inside and Hi-Fi headphones, the technology stimulates visual and auditory systems. The headset is implemented with locomotor sensors, which allow users to interact with the artificial environment in a way similar to how we interact with real world. The multimodal sensory stimulation offers an immersive experience for users that makes people believe it is real. With VR, which serves like a teleporter in Star Trek, people can enjoy a moment of disconnectedness from reality without physically removing themselves. 2016 has been called “the year of virtual reality” (Morris, 2015). According to Google Trend, the popularity of the word “virtual reality” has been increased since 2015, and reaches its peak in 2016. What makes VR so hot? VR technology has been around for a while. In the lecture of Building Visual Worlds, students of Prof. Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University have created various creative projects (highly recommend! a must see!) using virtual reality technology since 1998. What makes VR so hot in 2016 is that VR changes from something only exists in Carnegie Mellon’s class to an affordable technology that can be...

Virtual Reality in Healthcare Market to 2022 - VR in Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Surgery, Treatment for Phobia , Disabled People, Treatment of PTSD, Therapies & Treatment of Autism

Virtual Reality technology is a computer-simulated environment that can recreate sensory experiences and stimulate presence in locations that are from the real world or may be from an imagined world. It has generated tremendous excitement in the healthcare industry where the applications of virtual reality technology extend to psychiatric, training, medical practice, and among other branches of medicine as a part of alternate therapies. Depression & PTSD, surgery simulation, phobia treatment, robotic surgery and skills training are the most common situations where the use of Virtual Reality Technology has proven successful.Virtual Reality has also proven effective in treating pain by distracting the brain and reducing the need for drugs during painful and physically unpleasant treatments which reduce exposure to strong narcotics and addictive painkillers. Due to the expensive nature of this new technology, it is available in very limited parts of the world, mostly in developed countries. The demand for Virtual Reality Technology for treatments is increasing in healthcare, but expensive hardware, inadequate training of medical practitioners and lack of awareness amongst the patient population are some of the challenges faced by this market. However, the market is lucrative in the developed countries of Europe and North America though the...

Wellness Wednesday: Regulating E-Cigarettes, Virtual Reality to Detect Concussions, and Exercise

E-cigarettes are popular among teenagers, but now the Food and Drug Administration is making the purchase of them illegal to anyone under eighteen years old. Also, researchers are exploring the use of virtual reality to help detect sport concussions. And, new research is discovering how much exercise is enough to get results and whether or not exercise trumps nutrition when it comes to preventing obesity. Image credit: Source

How Virtual Reality Could Transform Mental Health Treatment

If you haven’t yet heard about Oculus Rift, chances are you soon will. Virtual reality (VR) headset technology – in the form of the Oculus and its main competitor the HTC Vive, both of which have just been launched on the consumer market – is about to make the leap into the mainstream. For the gaming industry, big bucks are in the offing. Facebook paid more than $2 billion to acquire Oculus Rift; the returns, one imagines, could swiftly dwarf that figure. VR may be about to transform gaming, but the technology dates back to the late 1960s and the so-called Sword of Damocles. Bulky and relatively unsophisticated though it was, the main elements of VR were all present in the Sword. A computer generated an image, a display system presented the sensory information and a tracker fed back the user’s position and orientation in order to update the image. For the user, sensory data from the natural world was superseded by information about an imaginary world that changed in response to their actions. The result was what you’d experience with Oculus Rift or the Vive today: a “sense of presence” in an interactive, three-dimensional virtual world. It’s difficult to...

Virtual Reality Knowledge Hub

4 Ways Virtual Reality Improves Medicine Many health care professionals consider virtual reality as first of all technology, not a technique. Such perception of VR is not surprising, because since this term was used for the first time in 1986 by the computer scientist Jaron Lanier, virtual reality has been described as a collection of technological devices: a computer, a head-mounted display, data gloves… But if we analyze various applications of VR we will notice that focus on technological devices can be changed according to the purpose of the health care provider. So, how exactly virtual reality can be used in medicine and which role does it play in various health care activities? Medical Education. Teaching most of the medicine disciplines is mainly illustrative. Through visualization of massive volumes of databases in three dimensions with the help of virtual reality application, medical students can much easier perceive information during the learning process. For instance, basic anatomy or important physiological principles can be learned and understood with the help of screen-based or virtual reality software. Imagine that you can “fly” around, in front of, behind or even inside the particular organ or the anatomy structure! Three-dimensional visualization of the human anatomy...

We Took A Virtual Walk On The Martian Surface

We Took A Virtual Walk On The Martian Surface

The Martian vistas in front of me are crisp and gorgeous. The rusty rocks remind me of the hot Arizona desert. I kneel down to examine the vibrant formations around my feet. I can imagine how the sharp edges have been smoothed out over billions of years of Martian wind. Each rock is coated with a fine gray dust, and, though the surface is chilly, looks bright and warm, as though bathed in heat from the Sun. When world-renowned scientists offer to take you on a day trip to Mars -- and promise you that you won't die -- your answer should be yes. This week, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, I strapped on a brand new science tool, called OnSight. I could breathe and walk around, and all without the burden of a bulky spacesuit and the pesky 8-month flight. JPL teamed up with Microsoft, makers of HoloLens, to create a highly accurate way of exploring the red planet without having to actually travel to Mars. Lead developer Alex Menzies explains, “The goal is to enable scientists to explore Mars just like they would explore a site here on Earth.” The OnSight system uses holographic processing...

© 2019 RenewVR™ a NewPathVR, Inc. company All Rights Reserved.
By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy.