Virtual worlds for health

Scientists at the University of Birmingham  are developing immersive virtual settings that combine sounds, sights, and smells to help patients, from trauma victims to those in hospice, experience the outside world.   Patients can explore the sensorily rich simulated rural and coastal worlds using a variety of devices, from simple thumb-operated joysticks to Xbox gamepads.

According to Professor Bob Stone, Chair of Interactive Multimedia Systems, and lead investigator, “Patients will be free to choose areas that they want to spend time in; they can take a walk along coastal footpaths, sit on a beach, listen to the waves and birdsong, watch the sun go down and–in due course–even experience the smells of the land- and seascapes almost as if they were experiencing the outdoors for real.”

Watch a video from the NatureVideoChannel and read more about the project here.

for a walk through a virtual world.

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