In the last few years, virtual reality has taken over the entertainment industry. This immersive experience has been implemented into games shows, simulations, video games, and more! Did you know virtual reality may one day be able to help seniors spark past memories?
Virtual reality is a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment where a person can interact and explore. The experience is extremely immersive and requires headsets, goggles, and/or special gloves. You become part of a “new” world and can interact with your surroundings, manipulate objects, and perform a series of actions.
There is a lot of work associated with creating virtual reality. As humans, our senses and brain are heavily connected and synchronized. For the experience to seem realistic, your senses have to agree with your brain. As virtual reality technology continues to evolve, issues involving our senses will diminish. So is all of this research and execution worth it? Absolutely. Virtual reality can extend far more than solely for entertainment purposes. Producers are now experimenting with implementing virtual reality into architecture, sports, arts, and medicine.
Neuroscientists have started experimenting with virtual reality in order to evaluate how an individual’s brain retrieves memories while exploring a new virtual world. The ultimate goal is to develop therapeutic tools that will restore lost memories to seniors and patients with Alzheimer’s disease or a traumatic brain injury. It’s logical that this process of watching old memories could spark other memories as well. This type of virtual space, where you can experience the past, can easily remind someone of a particular memory and allow them to access that special moment.
Humans have been documenting their memories since the beginning – think back to ancient cave paintings! Virtual reality has the potential to exceed the ability of a basic camera and these simulations can provide a lasting memory for many individuals. The future of virtual reality is still unknown and the potential is endless. For now, seniors can experiment with virtual reality and see if they can spark any forgotten moments.
Pro tip: be sure to record and document the important memories in your life. As virtual reality is explored further, this footage may come in handy in the years to come!