Virtual reality has been at the forefront of technological development for several years but is still struggling to find its niche. Many companies have developed the use of this technology for immersive games and entertainment, while new applications are being launched daily. The use of virtual reality tools when carrying out market research with children cannot be far off.
Newcastle University, in collaboration with Third Eye Technologies, has shown that virtual reality can be used as a therapeutic technique for children with autism. This was achieved using Third Eye Technologies’ ‘Blue Room’. This room allows for a fully immersive audio visual experience without the need for a headset, which autistic children can find distressing. Psychologists lead the children through simulations of real life scenarios that may have caused anxiety in the past while teaching them relaxation techniques and coping strategies. The treatment reported improvements in eight out of nine children, allowing them to move past these fears.
Such rooms are not the norm for Virtual Reality however. Most commonly, it is formatted to exist within a headset which is worn by the user. Although this has been developed further by companies such as Tick Tock Unlock, into a multi-sensory ‘Hyper Reality Experience’, users can have access to the platform through a variety of headsets made from as simple a material as cardboard. Such devices were distributed to UK classrooms in 2016 by Google, enabling teachers to take their students on ‘virtual reality field trips’. (more…)