Treating illness with 360VR
We’ve all been there. We’re stuck at home, in bed, feeling ill and unable to do anything. Thankfully, all you need is a smartphone and Google Cardboard, and you’re instantly out in the world, enjoying the wonderful sights and sounds of Mallorca 360.
Mind and Body
The relationship between our mental health and our body health has been well established, from how our minds can make us physically ill to how they can help accelerate our healing or prevent illness altogether. Once we’re ill though, it’s hard to get our minds out of the depressive spiral that an illness can drive us to, especially when we’re fully bedridden.
This is where a simple, cheap Google Cardboard comes in, and where 360 virtual reality comes into play. By entering the fully immersive experience of 360 degree, spherical video, you can trick the mind into thinking you’re actually sitting on the rocks by the Mediterranean Sea in Porto Cristo, or on the sands of Son Moll or Cala Agulla beaches, or at the top of the mountains over Alcudia Bay at the Puig de Sa Tudossa in the Llevant Peninsula Natural Park in Artà. With some headphones, your mobile phone, and a five dollar piece of cardboard, you can transport yourself from your bedroom to some of the most spectacular places around the world.
But it’s not just about leaving the bedroom.
VR and overcoming phobias
Maybe you’re afraid of the water or have a great fear of heights or are really afraid of bees. Scientists have been working with VR technologies to explore how virtual reality can help in overcoming psychological issues and disorders. The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, for example, has been funding research into using VR cognitive therapy to help patients to overcome delusions with great success. Their results have been published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, and paint a promising picture of where VR technology is headed and how it can help people in different health related areas.
Now, if you’re afraid of water, you can get up close and personal. Agoraphobic? Strap on that Google Cardboard and explore being outside within the safety of your own home. Have a problem with heights? Stand at the cliff’s edge without actually exposing yourself to any danger. These and many other issues are currently under study with promising success.
This is all without even touching on how 360 VR cuts down on costs and improves health practitioner training amongst other educational uses.
There’s been a lot of talk about the discomforts of Virtual Reality, but thankfully, most of those have been addressed through better technology and clever software. Now, unfortunately, not all content is created equal, nor is the technology the same. The most obvious danger is obviously eyestrain.
Like any technology where you look at a screen, one must follow the usual guidelines to reduce eyestrain, like remembering to blink, to take breaks and look away every now and again, etc. Many other issues like nausea or disorientation have been resolved by technologies like those developed by Oculus, but since not all content is equal and not all viewers are equal, one must find content that is of acceptable quality.
VR is processor intensive, so it takes up a lot of resources to properly display the images as you move your head around. This causes a number of issues, especially as you put your Google Cardboard to your face and as you pan from side to side, depending on what device you’re using. To avoid many common issues when using a mobile viewer:
- Adjust slowly and make sure your mobile is properly aligned with your eyes. It’s important for your eyes to be able to focus properly and for the image to look correctly.
- Don’t move too fast. Moving too fast with a lot of 360 content can cause nausea and disorientation for some people, similar to what happens with 3D to a small percentage of the population. This often happens with lower quality content or less powerful devices.
- Remember to blink. With electronic devices and screens we have the tendency to not blink as often. This causes our eyes to dry out, irritate, and to strain more than normal. It’s also important to limit your sessions and take rests while focusing on objects away from your screen.
- Careful when using it while standing up. Better to use a rotating chair. Often, people standing up move around or spin too much and get either lightheaded, dizzy, or knock into physical objects around the room. Be careful.
The comforts of traveling without moving
Like everyone else, we at Mallorca 360 also get ill with colds, the flu, and all the usual stuff, but when we find ourselves bedridden, we make sure we have our Google Cardboard and mobile close by, so we can enjoy being “outside” in all the Majorcan locations we love. No bugs, no annoyances, no effort, no illness, just peace, beauty, and happiness.
Protect your eyes and be judicious in your use and you’ll be transported to wherever you want to go. What better benefit than the ability to travel without moving, and without needing a science fiction, space folding, spaceship. Just put your mobile in a cheap piece of cardboard (Google Cardboard) and you’re good to travel from the comfort of your bed.
When we’ve been ill or stuck somewhere, we’re the first to travel virtually and have felt better for it. We’re sure you will too.
Just scratching the surface
Scientists are only starting to discover the health benefits of VR. Everyone is just scratching the surface of what’s possible. We’re happy to be at the forefront of 360VR, offering the opportunity for you to be able to relax while experiencing one of Mallorca’s gorgeous locations, and we can’t wait to bring you even more. So, the next time you’re bedridden, don’t forget your Google Cardboard and to visit our website or our channel on YouTube or VeeR.
We hope you’ll feel better, and we’re sure you will. :)
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Note: Google Cardboard links throughout the article are affiliate links that take you to Amazon Spain and help support Mallorca 360 when you shop through them. In the USA, use: http://amzn.to/2yQubkh and in the UK: http://amzn.to/2zU4oIf