We fulfill seniors’ wishes in virtual reality. How does it work? We visit seniors, ask them what is on their bucket list, and deliver it in VR.
“Life is your restaurant”, as the Genie said in “Aladdin”, and seniors sure are enjoying the VR menu. Who needs a lamp when you can have a VR headset?
GRANT A SENIOR’S WISH IN VIRTUAL REALITY
Visiting the Eiffel Tower, going scuba diving or going back to the land of your ancestors: what is on your bucket list? We sure all have extensive lists. But not everybody has the opportunity to make it happen. Low income seniors with little mobility have close to zero chances of ever visiting Paris or going on an Alaskan cruise to see the Northern lights before they pass. That’s where virtual reality comes in.
VIRTUAL REALITY OPENS UP A WHOLE NEW WORLD FOR SENIORS
When seniors put on a headset, they now have the power to go wherever they want in the world: to the place that they always longed to visit but never got the chance to, or to the place where they were born, and haven’t got the chance to return.
With virtual reality, it no longer matters if you are a prince or an orphan living on the street, if you’re in a wheelchair or if you’re an Olympian athlete, whether you are 20, 50 or 90 years old: in VR, we can all climb the highest peaks, fly over the Grand Canyon and explore the depths of the ocean.
“This gave life to my soul” – Rosa, senior Cuban, after having gone back to Cuba after decades of exile
“It felt like I was really there” – Robert, after having gone back to his native Ireland
“This gives me a 2nd chance” – Michael, former painter reconnecting to his art through VR after his stroke
“This was a 10 plus experience” – Leonard, after having gone to Las Vegas for the first time
“I would want everybody to have this experience” – Magali, devout Christian, after having seen Jerusalem
Once we put the virtual reality headset on, we are instantly teleported to a far away land or another time dimension: that’s the power of the technology. Neuroscientists and computer scientists who have researched the transformative power of VR have consistently highlighted “the sense of presence” the technology provides us. VE GENIE allows elders to feel immensely present to their deepest desires for travel, adventure, joy and curiosity — right here, right now.
These past months we have met lots of seniors with dreams and aspirations. Here are some of the desires that seniors most commonly expressed:
- going back to the land of their origins (Cuba for the great majority),
- visiting Europe (Spain for the most part),
- visiting the Holy Land
A former pop artist Michael reconnected to his art after his stroke by exploring the endless possibilities of 3D painting in VR. A former dancer and singer was ecstatic to be immersed in 360 in the rehearsals for the Rio Carnaval with professional dancers.
We are partnering with the Office of Community Advocacy of Miami-Dade County in a community outreach effort to bring this program to diverse senior communities.