VR training helps police interact with autistic

Police officers are now using virtual reality to learn the best ways to interact with people who suffer from autism and de-escalate situations that could quickly turn awry. (May 24)

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No puck needed with virtual reality hockey trainer

(10 Jan 2019) A company is demonstrating a virtual reality hockey trainer at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas. There’s a VR headset and stick, but no puck, and it allows a hockey player to practice position and passing skills. (Jan. 10)

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Tackling spider fear and other phobias with VR

(18 Sep 2018) Virtual reality therapy can help people with phobias like fear of heights by exposing them gradually to their greatest terrors. The technology is just now reaching the mainstream after 20 years of research. (Sept 18)

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Why It’s So Hard To Get People To Care About Humanitarian Crisis

Ask any humanitarian volunteer you’ve walked past on a sidewalk — it’s an incredibly difficult job to get people to commit themselves to a cause or relief effort in another part of the world.

The way we receive information about suffering is a key factor. A University of Bradford study​ shows consuming an overwhelming amount of violent imagery can desensitize people by shutting down the part of the brain that activates empathy in order to protect itself.

As the number of victims increases, empathy can plateau or even go down, a phenomenon the Arithmetic of Compassion​ project calls psychic numbing. As psychologist Paul Slovic explains it, our brain is better able to process information and develop complex impressions about one person suffering than it can for larger numbers.

And although we’re capable of feeling empathy for anyone, behavioral research shows increased neural responses to the perceived pain of individuals of the same race.

Being able to override roadblocks to empathy is critical for aid groups who depend on awareness efforts to inspire people to act or donate.

Starting in the 1980s, charity videos were saturated with guilt-driven imagery often called “poverty porn,” a reputation these groups are actively trying to shed. “A lot of people now have a predisposition towards humanitarian messaging that is something that is going to make them feel bad,” said Giless de Gilles, a tour coordinator with Doctors Without Borders.

But in the last five years, there’s been a surge of ethical storytelling through experimentation with virtual reality, dubbed by VR creators as the “empathy machine.” Veteran aid groups like Doctors Without Borders are rallying behind the technology, turning it into a mobile exhibit tour across U.S. cities.

“Novelty matters. So, the first few instances of this inevitably have a much greater impact than the next hundred, the next thousand, next million,” said Sam Gregory, a program director for WITNESS, a human rights organization focused on video advocacy. And the search for a direct line to the empathy region will continue.

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UPS​ Will Start Utilizing Virtual Reality To Teach Driver Safety

This may look like a video game, but this is serious training. UPS will start utilizing virtual reality to teach driver safety. Their students will use headsets to simulate driving that requires them to spot hazards such as pedestrians, parked cars, and oncoming traffic. This virtual reality approach adds to their hands-on training. UPS already uses replica cities to practice driving. The company is currently using VR for package deliveries but may extend use for tractor trailer drivers.

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Blade Runner 20XX? Future in AR and VR technology growing

Courtesy: Digital October Center

Forget smartphones and tablets! In the future, we’ll be wearing that technology over our eyes.

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