I'm not going to rant today. I've been seeing some really good stories this week about people using VR for Good so I'd like to share those stories with you. I'm going to give you a little synopsis of each program and then provide you a link so you can see the full story I read.
I've been telling everyone about how cool VR is and why you MUST take some time and check it out, but it's also being used to help people that are struggling in various ways.
The first company I'd like to talk about is called StoryUp. I met their CEO and Chief Storyteller (as she calls herself), Sarah Hill and absolutely love what they are doing. Sarah is a 20 year veteran of the interactive media industry. She got into virtual reality trying to find a solution for a group of terminally-ill Veterans who weren't able to physically travel. She is a national Edward R. Murrow, Sigma Delta Chi, and 12-time mid-America Emmy award-winning storyteller with VR work that spans 5 continents. Sarah started using augmented reality in 2011 to interact with TV viewers behind the scenes of a newscast. To see more about all the good that StoryUp does, visit their website at www.story-up.com or download their app for Apple and Android.
I read a few articles this week and wanted to give you an opportunity to see other great ways VR is helping people. Here is a link to an article that was featured on Reuters called, "Virtual reality coronation takes dementia patients down memory lane." The VR film that was discussed in this article "is the work of a project called The Wayback, designed to trigger memories and emotions in people with dementia and help them re-engage with relatives and carers." You can access the video here
This next story appeared is a blog that appeared on the International Journalists Networks Blog (Ijnet.org) and is titled, "Exploring the possibilities of virtual reality in Latin America," and discusses how the Guardian passed out Cardboard viewers to view VR content. The blog states, "One of the most attractive VR storytelling projects was The Party, the story of Layla, a girl with autism who attends a birthday party. Through the story, users experienced the intensity with which Layla hears, sees and thinks — a feeling that would be impossible to understand without this technology."
The next article that I read was on the WISTV (in Columbia, SC) website and it's titled, "Radiothon funds to help provide virtual reality goggles for young hospital patients, " and after reading this entire article, we decided to donate 100 pairs of our custom branded cardboard VR headsets to the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.
Below is the article in its entirety and here is a link to see the video of the story that appeared on the news
The Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital team is utilizing innovative technology to help ease the pain for children undergoing procedures.
Virtual reality allows children to put on goggles and “escape” the scary hospital while they're getting treated.
The goal is to help the child take their mind off of the medical procedure and allow them to virtually see and experience something new.
The hospital has been using virtual reality goggles for less than six months and employees say they’ve already seen a positive impact for the children.
"We need these tools that are so important to get our kids through these procedures without anxiety and what we can do with this technology is we use it as an analgesia we don’t have to use as much pain medicine which is better for everyone involved,” Child Life manager at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital Christy Fink said.
The goggles can help distract a child from pain by allowing them to have a relaxing experience with music and nature.
“It captures all of their senses and so what that does it decreases their anxiety about the procedures that they are having and it helps us to help them master the experiences they’re going through for healthcare,” Fink said.
As for right now, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital only has one set of virtual reality glasses and they have 74 beds at the hospital. They would like for each child life specialist to have a virtual reality set.
"Our goal is to make the hospital as less traumatic as possible and to keep it as normal as possible, so that when they come here they’re not as scared or terrified,” Child Life Specialist Abbey Anderson said.
The hospital is asking for support from the community to help fund new technology like virtual reality." END
Thank you to all of the people who are using VR for Good.
Chief Marketing Officer at Unofficial Cardboard