My loved one is visually impaired. Can they still use virtu-well?
Though it depends on the severity of the case, Individuals with visual impairments rarely have any issues with using our equipment. Due to the ultra high resolution content and the distance from the eyes to the lenses, even individuals who wear glasses are usually able to see very clearly. For those who are unable to see clearly at first, our technicians will adjust the interpupillary distance (IPD), and/or provide assistance with headset placement as needed.
I’ve heard of 3D movies, is this similar?
Though both 3D movies and VR share the goal of creating an optical illusion to the user, they are extremely different. The major difference is that the VR user will wear a headset that simulates an entire environment, while the 3D movie goer wears glasses which have the effect of making scenes on a screen appear to “pop out” at them. Virtual Reality allows the user to place themselves in the middle of a scene shot with a specialized camera, while 3D movies are more limited in their ability to truly immerse the user.
I have a family member who is bedbound in the home. Can they use this?
Individuals who have limited mobility or are unable to leave a certain position can still benefit from virtu-well. The software we use allows us to reorient the forward facing position of any passive VR experience so individuals who cannot sit up can still get the full experience. To explain, when a 360-degree video is shot, the default setting is for one direction to be the main position (the position the headset wearer will automatically see in front of them). We are able to modify that position so that users who have limited ranges of motion can still enjoy the experiences.
I am a recreation therapist in a nursing home. I think my residents would absolutely love this as a program. How can we arrange a visit?
Well, you’re in luck! The concept of Virtu-Well was designed from the ground up with the CTRS in mind. We know that it’s sometimes difficult to choose a new activity or program for a diverse population, especially when it is something that is so new. Which is why we offer a free 30-minute demonstration! To arrange a free demo feel free to use our online booking system, reach us by email, or give us a call.
I’ve tried VR before, it was a great experience, but my one problem was that is was very isolating. Is this common?
While it depends on the individual, feelings of isolation sometimes do occur when an individual is “in” VR. This usually results because the visual component and the audio component immerse the user in a way they are unfamiliar with. Both audio and visual are very important in creating immersion. Each component is necessary. We remedy feelings of isolation by maintaining communication with the user throughout the duration of the session via a microphone connected to the user’s headphones. By doing this, we preserve immersion, while ensuring the user’s comfort and limiting any feelings of isolation.
This concept is interesting, but how can this function as a group program when only one user goes at a time?
Even though only one user is able to go at a time, this is still very much a group program. Yes, only one individual is “in” VR at a time, but everyone else in the room can see what they see via screen mirroring. The software we use allows us to project a mirror image of what is being experienced by the user onto any monitor or television screen. This works well for a number of reasons:
- Time spent in VR should be limited to avoid any negative side effects. By having the option of watching the screen, other group members can still be stimulated throughout the whole session.
- It is entertaining for family members and caregivers to share the experience and see the users reactions.
- Seeing what a user sees often times will spark an interest in others who may be reluctant to try at first.
- The ability to see what the user sees will usually inspire conversations and lead to sharing of past experiences among the group.
I have a resident who is non-communicative. Can they benefit from this?
While it does depend on the individual, in most cases definitely. Our approach is based on appealing to the user’s personality, interests, and preferences. In cases where someone is unable to communicate, it is helpful to research a bit about the person such as birthplace, favorite past activities, background, etc. An example might be a case where an individual suffers a stroke and cannot use speech effectively. The individual’s daughter informs us that her parent grew up in Portugal, and loves Orangutans. We use that information and create a playlist of relevant experiences. The beauty of it is that the user is not required to take any action, just enjoy their surroundings. Compared to other recreation programs, it is difficult to reach an individual on a level that resonates, especially when they have physical or cognitive limitations.