Virtual reality used as a high-tech way to deal with phobias

Author: wink news

There’s no denying it, we’re all afraid of something. Now there’s a high-tech way of dealing with phobias!

Virtual reality is past its awkward teenage years and growing up fast. The goggles are smaller, the screens, sensors, and graphics are better than ever.

Most importanly, they’re cheap. The Oculus Rift test goggles are just $350.

That has finally put virtual reality within reach of very small teams like engineering undergrads Paul Thurston and Bryce Mariano.

Their big, year-end project, had to have a so-called social benefit, something that will help others.

For these future video game designers, treating fear of heights with virtual reality was a no-brainer.

“You could very easily put this camera on the moon, you can put it underwater, you can do pretty much anything with it,” said Thurston.

Kieran Sullivan is one of the faculty advisors, who suggested the students add a feature where a therapist could adjust the height in real time.

Sullivan says a powerful, and affordable therapy like virtual reality could change a lot of lives.

“Having equipment that you can keep right in your office, where you can expose them to the feared object or situation, but not have to go anywhere to do it, I think could be really exciting for treating phobias,” said Sullivan.

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