Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
Tech News 14th March 2018 548

Virtual Reality May Be Way To Face Your Fears

There is growing evidence that Virtual Reality can help people face their fears.

For those afraid of heights, flying, spiders or whatever threats loom large, popping on a headset could help.

Take Mimerse’s Itsy software, for example.

This takes a user through then levels of exposure to spiders at their own pace.

Starting off in a game-like way with cartoon versions wearing boots, it leads eventually to a face to face with a very realistic Mexican tarantula.

Experiments with subjects suffering from Arachnophobia have shown positive results.

Those involved were more relaxed in the presence of spiders than before working their way through the three-hour programme, in the company of its soothing and encouraging voice-over.

This is the hi-tech version of exposure therapy, or systematic desensitisation to give its posh name.

First practiced in the 1950s, it erodes fears by repeated and progressive exposure to a perceived threat. Another example is Richie’s Plank Experience.

This invites you to place a length of floorboard on the carpet, hop on to it and pop on a VR headset.

Ultimately, you are putting your fear of heights to the test by walking the plank, over a thousand feet up amongst a forest of skyscrapers.

These examples are but a toe in the water of the presumed potential of VR to help with anxieties of all sorts.

Academics and VR boffins are running experiments and pilots of using VR to alleviate exam stress, driving test nerves and all of the angst that goes alongside asking someone for a date.

Virtual reality might be emerging as a significant survival tool for our ever more complex and challenging world.

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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