May 21, 2010

Unleashing a Swarm of Augmented-Reality Cockroaches to Fight Bug Phobias

                Do you have a fear? Well, there may be a way to cure it now. Most physiologists say that to over come a fear, you have to face it and now there is a new way to do just that. Sometimes facing your fears are dangerous or just impossible so a Spanish study says that you can over come fears with Augmented Reality or AR. The study is trying to see if a computer-based AR system can sufficiently induce anxiety to reduce or eliminate fears. The patients in this study had a phobia for cockroaches. They used a computer to digitally put cockroaches near the patients’ hand. The patients wore a virtual reality visor (as pictured below) and a therapist determined how many cockroaches there were and that had created a high level of anxiety and after a few sessions with incrementally more cockroaches, the phobia was cured! I think that this method can help many people with phobias to over come their fears.