Whats the point of virtual reality? At this nascent stage thequestion remains hanging in the pixelated air like the promise of abetter life off-world. As does the associated unknown of whether the techs promise of exceptional submersion will stand the test of hour and attain the leap to mainstream appeal.
For now, on the content side, VR principally entails a few gaming experiences with comparatively niche appeal( given the pro kit needed to power them ), and experimental or quasi-educational content such as virtual tours, medical therapy, and attempts to fosterempathy by embodyinganother first person view. But another idea is to use VR to foster mindfulness by tuning out the day-to-day and tuning into some calming VR vistas.
U.S. digital health company Provata Healthis one of severalcompanies hoping to harness the technologys power as an escapist medium by using it asa backdrop for guidedmeditations and has just launched a VRiOS app.
Idea being you slipon a mobile VR headset and use the app to experience aguided meditation within a 360 -degree calming visual surrounding, such as sitting on a beach or next to a waterfall.( Although Provatasapp can also be used for guided meditations without shall be required to put one over an iPhone-compatible VR headset simply with the same peaceful landscape to swipe around onscreen .)
Also incorporated into itsapp: the ability to connection health-trackingwearables, such as the Apple Watch, to quantify the effects ofa meditation conference on, for example, your resting heart rate. Or look at how your sleep is being affected by taking time out to meditate. The company tells the app can also be used totrackpre and post meditation heart rate using just asmartphone camera for those who dont owna fitness wearable.
Theres an increasing number of apps and digital services focusing on the mindfulnessspace including the likes ofHeadspace, CalmandSimple Habit. Even Apple has a relaxation app for its Watch wearable, called Breathe. Provata also has a widerdigital health play selling guided programs via employers wanting to offer staff encouragement to take up health-boostingactivities but the VR app is its first step into the consumer mindfulness space.CEO Alex Goldberg tells its hopingto pioneer a new category of digital health: Virtual Reality Preventive Care.