Google takes a virtual reality walk through dementia

Google VR virtual reality Alzheimers dementia

Launch of Google and ARUK’s VR project at London’s St. Pancras International

Earlier this year Google teamed up with Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) to raise awareness of some of the lesser-known symptoms of dementia, like visual disturbances and disorientation.

To do this the tech giant produced three virtual reality stories – available at A Walk through Dementia – that aim to show the subjective experience of a person with dementia.

The stories are available via a custom-built Android-only app or YouTube, or a VR viewer – such as Google’s own Cardboard.

Anna Berger, lead producer at the company’s agency Google Zoo, wrote about the work last month.

“When we think of dementia, we usually think of people experiencing memory loss – things like forgetting people’s names and failing to recognise family members.

“But there are other symptoms of dementia, ones that are only apparent to those experiencing its effects. They come up when doing everyday tasks like making a cup of tea.”

The result was a VR experience that shows everyday activities as experienced by someone with dementia and ARUK’s video of British journalist and broadcaster John Snow explaining the project has since been viewed over one and a half million times.

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