It might seem purely hedonistic to escape reality. VR vacations can often be just that – an escape. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Entertainment is an important part of life too, as is personal health. We often talk about both here on the Stambol blog. But we know XR technology can do more than facilitate recreation and medical care.
Our society still needs to shine a light on our collective mental health and wellness. So we are keenly interested in immersive experiences that focus on healing the mind. We recently discovered a few more virtual escapes designed to do just that – free the mind. So today we’re examining the full spectrum of reasons to exit reality and experience another world.
Equal Access to Incredible Adventures
Many of us take our physical freedom and mobility for granted. Large numbers of people with medical conditions or physical disabilities find even modest adventures impossible. Virtual Reality has changed that dynamic with realistic imagery and engaging stories. At Stambol, we love to witness the democratization of technology, so watching VR enable equal access to some of the most amazing experiences ever envisioned is extremely rewarding.
Child of The Earth
This is the story of a terminally ill teenage boy who travelled into space. NASA made it possible for Kevin Flores to experience a mission at the International Space Station.
“Serious illness is not just about medicine. It’s about human beings and their struggle. We have to give them the right medical treatment, but we also have to help them psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. And so we’re constantly looking for ways to give these children and these families small slices of joy.”
– Dr. Glen Komatsu, CMO, TrinityKids Care
theBlu – Wevr
Underwater adventures are not possible for many of us. Wevr’s theBlu transports any viewer to the depths of the ocean for encounters with some of earth’s most majestic sea creatures.
Everest VR – Sólfar Studios
This experience allows you to climb and explore the most famous mountain in the world from the safety of your home or school.
The Grand Canyon Experience – Immersive Entertainment
Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Grand Canyon in the strong mid-day sun or under a picturesque starry sky.
Virtual Retreats for Mental Health
The psychological benefits of using immersive technology can transcend emotional relief outlined above. VR can actually help patients make progress in virtual psychotherapy. From arachnophobia to a fear of flying, VR can safely and cost-effectively allow patients to take baby steps towards overcoming fear.
CAPS – University of Colorado
Counseling and Psychiatric Services at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus offers patients access to Virtual Reality therapy. They focus on exposure therapy for people suffering from fear and phobias. Overcoming a phobia is particularly important for any student experiencing fears that prevent him or her from engaging in campus life and completing coursework.
In Virtuo – University of Quebec
Another example of exposure therapy is the woman petting a dog in the video below. Even though the patient knows he or she is not in a real situation, the brain reacts with much the same symptoms and the patient is still able to develop coping mechanisms.
Relax and Reconnect with VR Vacations
We’ve come full circle back to the simple need to take a vacation. The chances are good that as you read these words, you’re sitting at a desk, part way through your work day. Or perhaps you’re reading on a phone during your commute. Reading this post might be part of a small break, but little mini-escapes aren’t nearly enough. We need extended and uninterrupted time away from all the responsibilities and stresses of daily life. Yet, it’s not always possible to take the time off (or spend the money) needed to travel.
Multisensory VR Mask – FeelReal
Part of visiting the tropics is experiencing the smells and atmospheric sensations of your environment. FeelReal adds aromas, mist, and wind to their stunning visual content for a next-level immersive experience.
Vacation Simulator – Owlchemy
If you’re looking for a playful and funny vacation-inspired experience, Vacation Simulator is worth checking out. It’s a delightfully silly world that pokes fun and what we do to relax while we’re away from our regular lives. Brought to you by the makers of Job Simulator.
We look forward to new ways user can experience shared virtual vacations. VR vacations make it possible to share a simulated getaway with loved ones who are just as far from you as your favourite tropical beach.
When phone calls, emails, and even video chats fall short of meaningful reconnection, VR is the next best thing to being in the same room with someone. Best of all, it can be accomplished in a few quick clicks rather than a long, expensive, and usually uncomfortable air journey.
The Green Side of Immersive Escapes
The carbon footprint of each and every vacation is a growing concern as we all battle climate change. Transportation requires fuel. Portable hygiene and food generate waste. And while we can all do our best to reduce, reuse, and recycle as we travel, there is an unavoidable environmental debt associated with every trip, however small.
Considerate travellers also know that their literal footprints are relevant too. Should we storm natural and historic wonders by the thousands? Or could we appreciate and preserve at the same time by experiencing these places virtually?
If you make your next vacation a virtual one, the energy required to power the endeavour is a tiny fraction of what you would otherwise use. And you won’t be causing any harm to fragile ecosystems or vulnerable monuments.
Stambol disruptors know how profound an immersive experience can be – and how Extended Reality technology can literally change lives. Ask us what XR can add to your world. We’ll help you start dreaming about the many possibilities spatial computing can place at your fingertips.
Image Credit: Institute for Human Caring (Child of the Earth – Kevin Flores)