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VR technology used for more than just gaming

2nd June 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

VR (virtual reality) technology is being eagerly anticipated by many technology conscious or gaming centric folk, however most of the marketing has overlooked another sector of people who would greatly benefit from having the world available in their own homes- the elderly.

Many elderly people are house bound or reliant on mobility aids such as straight stairlifts and are unable to continue doing many things they have loved in the past. Being able to bring special locations or the latest concerts into their homes in a realistic and meaningful way, such as VR technology, could make a significant difference to their lives.

Jake Kahana was able to see the potential of this resource and was inspired by his own experience with his grandmother. As they struggled to communicate due to many reasons, some mobility based, the New York designer and film maker was able to see the value of the technology to a different market.

Kahana spent six months visiting and trialling his chosen market with VR technology to see the implications and feedback. A piece of unexpected information, was that though Kahana offered them access to some of the world’s most incredible scenery through other VR films, what they missed the most was in fact the normal everyday experiences that they now could not attend. 

 

In response to this Kahana has launched BETTVR With Age. These films focus less on the grandeur of nature and instead on intimate moments that are often missed. With an effort to keep the camera still and all movements both slow and steady, Kahana avoids the motion sickness that is so prevalent with other VR films.

This enterprising attitude to technology that has been specifically marketed at the millennial generation exhibits the gradual change in perception that people are having to the elderly. While many still focus on the younger market, more and more are looking to how new technology and services will aid seniors instead. 

Image Credit: Web Summit