In a relatively short time, virtual reality has come a long way. Virtual Reality headsets exist for all kinds of audiences. Expensive headsets exist for eager PC gamers with powerful rigs with motion hand controllers to literal cardboard boxes with lenses with your phone screen as a window. Virtual reality has become extremely accessible for the masses, yet a rarely talked about advantage is how it offers seniors remarkable end-of-life adventures.
Virtual reality allows you to experience fascinating worlds, both real-life locations in full-3D or perhaps completely imaginary locations, created from thousands of polygons. Indeed Virtual reality isn’t simply the headsets we put in front of our heads, but in fact it is the software and access it gives us to worlds beyond.
One example could be a full 360 view of the Amazon Jungle, or a virtual walk on the Great Wall of China. Perhaps a younger audience has had the opportunity to visit the locations in real life, walked or explored numerous wonders on Earth. However, a lot of seniors ultimately never had the change to so, and at this point it is too late.
The factors for this are numerous. Financial being one of them, deteriorating health being another, much more common one. Seniors are simply not as agile and as full of stamina as teenagers or young adults are. Virtual reality allows the elderly to experience these same locations from the comfort of their own home, by simply using any virtual reality googles and look at areas around the world in full 360 degrees as well as 3D, meaning experiencing depth. While of course it’s not exactly the same, but for seniors, it’s pretty dang close.
One platform that’s relatively popular for this is of course Google’s own Earth VR platform. Google had long been collecting imagery and street view data as early as 2001, and with this new platform they offer this data to be viewed in 3D.
A second way virtual reality offers seniors an end-of-life experience is by means of digital virtual reality “games” or experiences, such as say, a virtual 3D rollercoaster ride. Remember of course, that 3D spatial sound is also a part of the virtual reality experience. It is often dangerous for the elderly to try a lot of the attractions that are considered “extreme”. A lot of high-adrenaline actions may cause devastating effects on seniors, such as onsets of heart-attacks. Instead, by using virtual reality, seniors know that they are at, say, inside the comfort and safety of their own homes and at the same time experiencing things that otherwise they would never get the chance to.
Virtual reality is often referred to as “the future of gaming”. Nonetheless, a lot of people forget about its advantages when it comes to senior or elderly entertainment. As per two of the examples above, Virtual reality offers end-of-life experiences for seniors that we could only dream of less than a decade ago. Let them enjoy their emotional roller coaster once immersed into the gaming world!