I scored a handful of Google Cardboards at the Seattle VR show a couple weeks ago. The first thing i did was take a set over to show my 84 year old dad 🙂
He was stunned and delighted… I was stunned by how quickly he took to them and also delighted and I asked him to write down his experience… I <3 my Dad so much, and it brings me crazy massive amounts of joy to share this experience with him. That this allows me to get him ‘out of the apartment’ to visit places we couldn’t go in real life but can share together now is a truly wonderful thing. I realize that the people developing VR had gaming and such in mind but I think that there is HUGE potential in the field of enriching the lives of the elderly, and perhaps it could be the greatest potential addition to the field of elder care that we’ve seen in a long long time.
My Daughter brought over her new virtual reality viewing apparatus, and showed me scenes of Jerusalem, Rome, Monaco, Paris and a coral reef, the neighborhood in Brooklyn where I grew up, and others.
The experience was very different from simply looking at a picture. For one thing, the experience lasted hours after the viewing. Also, it had a sense and feeling of reality, as if I’d actually been there.
It gave me the sense of no longer being confined to my apartment, but that i’d travelled the world and could do so again. It lifted my mood. And in the case of the scenes from Brooklyn, unlocked a flood of memories.
Most striking to me was the scene of the Brooklyn Public Library, at Grand Avery Plaza. This brought back memories of the library and books read there, walks in nearby Prospect Park, and the quotations on the library walls, and my weekly trips there that were a source of peace and inspiration throughout my growing up. My daughter said I looked different viewing the scene, and I felt it too.
Overall it was a useful and freeing experience, one i’d like to have available to me again, in the future.