The Elderly Can Now See The World Thanks To Japan’s VR Technology
By Yimin Huang, 16 Jul 2019
Virtual reality is proving to be an asset to Japan’s elderly, as they can now “travel” the world without having to experience physical inconveniences. A team at the University of Tokyo, led by Kenta Toshima, has found a way to make it happen.
The team is leveraging VR technology and teaching Japan’s active senior citizens to capture and edit 360-degree videos from their travels, so that they can let less-mobile seniors enjoy trips without having to move about.
Toshima’s project partner, University of Tokyo lecturer and assistant professor Atsushi Hiyama, highlights that 90-percent of elderly in Japan who are over 65 years old are still “very active,” and do not “need support to live alone.” Therefore, the best way is to keep them occupied by including them in society.
Classmates of the program range widely, from 53 all the way to 90 years old. They have all been learning about VR for about a year now.
82-year-old Takeshi Maki, for example, went to Hawaii with his 360-degree camera, explaining that he has friends who can no longer travel. When he showed clips of his travels to his peers, they were fascinated as they had not seen many of the locations before.
The team leader also reveals that some older folks who have lived up to 80 to 90 years were so surprised by the VR experience, that some who were usually immobile stood up and started walking.
Hiyama adds that even with “the decline of physical and mental conditions,” one can still experience the world with VR.
View this post on Instagram
Fun shoot with seniors learning how to create #VR travel videos for other elderly people who are no longer able to travel - literally showing them the world! Their average age: 72... with their oldest member about to turn 91 years old. #CNNInnovateJapan
A post shared by JANE SIT (@jmsit) on
[via CNN, cover image via Shutterstock]
More related news