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Virtual Reality being Used for Helping the Elderly by Startup

FeelU, a startup company based in Saint-Martin-de-Londe (Hérault), is offering a collection of immersive virtual reality (VR) journeys for the elderly, to help them experience various social as well as psychological perks.

Virtual reality technology has come a long way over the last decade, and become more than an avenue for gamers to gain some amusement. VR technology is now being used for noble causes like helping individuals who are disabled or at an elderly age. Currently, FeelU is putting in efforts for this cause through its array of offerings.

FeelU co-founder Virginie Vernier, speaking about the project, said that VR technology helps bring forth a great number of benefits to elderly people as the company’s experiments have shown. She said that the company has been working for several years to develop virtual immersive tours for aged people to take walks in cyberspace, as they cannot do so in real life.

The startup company now has a range of fifty virtual experiences that have lengths of around seven minutes each. All of these have been made by the company. Participants need to don a helmet to be a part of these experiences and can enjoy the virtual tours with the aid of a helper who provides assistance through an application. Vernier revealed that the company is providing two pieces of content every month. One of those is for relaxation purposes and the other one is for exploration.

Immersive journeys are accompanied by communication bubbles that provide some details about images on screen. Vernier stated that the objective of the project is to help the elderly feel like they are walking. Some of the experiences include locales such as Ile de Nantes, Sète, Malaysia and many other places.

The virtual reality tours bring about various benefits for the target demographic. FeelU has worked with ageing specialists and has provided information about several benefits such as pain alleviation, reduction of stress levels, and reduction in feelings of isolation. According to Vernier, one of the key purposes of the experiment is to help build social relationships among the elderly.

FeelU is offering machinery to several organisations, nursing homes, home help companies and more so that they can help elderly individuals everywhere. Caregivers are able to show films to people at events or show them to disabled individuals in their rooms.

Vernier emphasised that the project is focused on enabling social interactions among elderly individuals, in spite of them having to use a helmet. Each activity lasts about two hours during which two films are shown. There are also several activities for those who partake in the tour and the freedom of engaging in discussions with each other. The company is also providing assistance to those providing elderly care so that they can improve outcomes.

Clients get a VR kit from FeelU for a yearly fee, which has a tablet, two pairs of headphones and an annual subscription for the FeelU product range. The company is looking forward to raising funds later this year.

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