Sensory VR

What Is Sensory VR?

Sensory VR offers responsive sensory scenes and mesmerising interactive journeys for people with sensory needs.

As a tool for sensory exploration, Sensory VR opens up a new world of discovery for users, therapists, educators, parents and caregivers. We have designed Sensory VR with a logical foundation whereby the experience is built for each user, not predefined. This approach enables the stimuli to be thoughtfully presented and made appropriate to the user, be that an Adult with dementia or a Child with complex needs.

As a tool for sensory exploration, Sensory VR opens up a new world of discovery for users, therapists, educators, parents and caregivers. We have designed Sensory VR with a logical foundation whereby the experience is built for each user, not predefined. This approach enables the stimuli to be thoughtfully presented and made appropriate to the user, be that an Adult with dementia or a Child with complex needs.

Personalisation

Everything in Sensory VR is controllable from Sensory VR’s companion control iOS and Android apps. Select the environment type you would like to use, then put on the headset. From here you have full control of the fixtures, fittings, effects, audio and video that gets introduced to the experience.

Facilitators can see watch on a monitor what the user is seeing while in VR. This means facilitators can provide support and guidance as the user explores the scene.

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“Experiencing VR for the first time should not be a mind-altering experience that is going overwhelm the participant. Many VR apps are simply showcases designed to maximise visual impact for the user. This is OK if you are designing for neuro-typical users with good visual acuity, but it is terrible and potentially terrifying for people with sensory and cognitive difficulties. It is essential that VR experiences are pleasant and not too abstract or overwhelming for users, which is why we have created an app that is suitable and inclusive of the needs of everyone. The potential for VR in education and healthcare settings is huge and we are excited to explore meaningful applications for the technology with our customers.”

- Lee Blemings - CEO at Sensory Guru

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Benefits:

  • Full 360 degree immersion
  • Switch responsive interactivity (switch controls things you are looking at)
  • Explore the potential that VR offers to people with sensory needs
  • Controllable levels of stimulation
  • Interactive elements
  • Responsive graphics
  • Speech recognition and voice commands
  • Unlike traditional Sensory Rooms the virtual Sensory Room does not require complex installations or electrical works
  • Never have to empty the bubble tube again!
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FAQ

That will depend on their own preferences and desire to experience new things. It should be noted that VR is not for everyone and participation should be voluntary.

This is a very difficult question and one that opens up many ethical debates about altering an individual’s reality without their consent. If the participant cannot consent due to cognitive or communication difficulties the simplest way to determine whether they should be allowed to participate is by seeking permission from a parent/guardian and getting input from clinicians and therapists. You can see how a participant responds to the content when it is shown on a monitor before you attempt to use a headset. If there is a clear like or dislike outside of VR, the chances are this will be magnified inside VR.

It is widely suggested that VR is not to be used by children under the age of 13. This is consistent with all mainstream headsets: Oculus, HTC Vive, Google Daydream and Gear-VR. We would recommend that the manufacturer guidance is adhered to in all cases.

It certainly is true that some VR experience can cause a sensation of sickness. This is due to the way the motion is handled and the way the device renders the video. The VR experiences made by Sensory Guru have been constructed in a way so that motion sickness is not a concern. As always, proceed with caution and if you or someone you work with feels sick, remove the headset immediately.

If there is a significant visual impairment then it is likely that the participant will not benefit from the visual aspects, but they may still benefit from the binaural 3D audio that the application offers. In addition, Sensory VR has a VI mode that provides a UV like environment. Visual intensity is adjustable so it is possible to configure to the needs of the user.

Generally, the answer is yes, but it is worth checking the dimensions below with those of your glasses to make sure. Large frames will not fit:

Oculus Rift: 6 inches (152mm) wide, 2.5 inches (63.5mm) tall, and 2 inches (50.8mm) at the deepest spot from the lens to the edge of the face padding.

HTC Vive: 6 inches wide, 2 inches tall and can go up to just over 2 inches deep at edge of padding (152 by 50 by about 51mm).

Those who have ever, or currently live with symptoms of epilepsy such as severe dizziness, blackouts, seizures or loss of awareness, should consult a doctor before using VR. The content may include flashing images and repetitive sequences which, for a small portion of people with photosensitive epilepsy, could cause seizures.

To be fully immersed in the experience wearing a headset is a requirement but participants can get a feel for the content before they put on the headset by watching the VR experience on a screen. This can help to take away some of the anxiety some may have about being immersed in the virtual world.