Virtual Reality & Therapy: The New Frontier

Virtual reality therapy allows users with neural diversity, anxiety disorders, physical and mental health related concerns to experience a form of exposure therapy without real world or emotional risk.

SocialWise VR: Supporting autistic youth as they grow up

Social Wise VR allows autistic young adults to develop their emotional intelligence without the emotional risk. 

This VR experience is a learning resource for teenagers on the autistic spectrum and their therapists, as they transition from childhood into becoming an adult.

Created for UK & American-based company SocialWise VR, the project provides a suite of interactive immersive experiences whereby the autistic young adult can experience first-hand a variety of complex social interactions, within the safety of the therapist environment.

“The nuance and authenticity of the scenarios produced by Start Beyond, combined with their engaging interactive design, provides therapists and their clients with an invaluable resource for developing strategies which address the daily challenge of social relationships.”

The program allows a safe avenue for ASD individuals to experiment with social interactions including non-preferred conversations.

Optimised for Oculus Go headsets, this VR training solution fully immerses the user in a variety of highly realistic social scenarios such as dealing with authority figures, to being at a party and being confronted by drugs, through to going on a first date.

In each situation, the user is offered 3 different responses. Depending on what answer they select they will either elicit a neutral, negative or positive response. 

The companion app provides the therapist with real-time of what their client is viewing, allowing them complete visibility as to how their client responds to the different situations, including observing what areas they focus on within the 360° view.

The SocialWise VR app uses a scaffold learning format with success gates applied to each scenario and a gamified interface to incentivise and reward learner’s progress.

The success of the pilot program has led to two more suites of content being produced, the product being launched in the USA & UK and additional content modules are now in development.


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