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VR experiences aid in relaxation and wellness

As a still-nascent technology, virtual reality holds much promise for a wide range of applications that go far beyond the obvious, like gaming. Gen Z in particular wants to see more VR in retail and shopping, and it is also finding a place in the travel and health and wellness industries, as demonstrated by the brands below.

HAPPY PLACE

The latest offering from the oldest pharmacy in the world, Sweden’s Apotek Hjartat is far from an ancient cure. The company wants people in pain to find their Happy Place—literally—with the help of VR. Studies have shown that pain is significantly reduced when the sufferer’s focus is drawn to something other than what’s hurt. Being highly immersive, the VR app can pull users’ attention away from areas of pain and allow them to get lost in three different settings, including a tranquil valley, a peaceful winter scene, or a sunny beach. Voice over in the app guides users through relaxation techniques to further the treatment.

ZOCDOC

The doctor’s waiting room can be one of the most stressful places for patients. ZocDoc has been leveraging technology to change the experience of seeing medical professionals, such as by enabling them to make appointments online and, more recently, by creating an in-office VR experience. The service lets nervous visitors at dentist offices feel at ease by transporting them to a lily pond, a horse pasture, or a cliff overlooking an ocean sunset. Doctors have noted a marked difference in the people they treated, saying that they are less stressed and in a better frame of mind to receive care.

BUDAPEST SPAS

Few commuters are able to relax on their daily treks to and from work, so to change that fact, Budapest Spas launched a marketing stunt to give bus riders a spa experience on the go. The campaign turned a bus shelter in the Hungarian capital into a calming, immersive pool with the help of VR. A viewer was built into the side of the shelter, and when passersby looked through it, it seemed as if they were in a crystal blue oasis in the spa. The space also included some physical elements to complete the transformation, including a bubbling water tank and photo op zones, which added a sharable component.