Halloween may have ended, but the augmented reality shivers are not over for some people. Arachnophobes boldly face their fears by pleasing augmented reality spiders for a university study.
Wayne's Stress, Trauma and Anxiety Research Clinic (STARC) uses Hololens 1 to make virtual spiders appear near people offering a digital version of traditional lighting therapy, where therapists show people real dreaded objects until they learn to deal with it.
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The augmented reality therapy tested by the clinic uses the Hololens 1 and an unnamed Hololens app made by North Carolina developer CrossComm . According to the clinic team, this method could also have applications for other problems, such as PTSD and substance abuse (a treatment method that has been successful in similar cases with VR devices and software).
AR therapy can also be more effective because seeing a wider variety of beings in different settings can help patients overcome fears faster, according to notes shared via the clinical trial.
Using different spiders and two different chambers, the AR-based therapy was able to quickly reduce the fears experienced by those who went through the therapy. People only had to use the Microsoft device for one hour at a time and the results were stuck after a month, Dr. told. Arash Javanbakht, the director of STARC, at Next Reality.
To begin with, the therapist makes various spiders appear to a patient in augmented reality on Hololens 1 (see poison below). The therapist then changes the size, shape and color of the spiders. Some of the options in the spider menu include something called "web spawn", a wolf spider and a black widow.
As part of the therapy process, the patient encouraged to feel comfortable in the presence of the therapist, and then a very small spider knocks on the furthest part of the room. Soon the patients work themselves up to be alone in a room with more than 20 larger spiders.
The therapist can view a digital map of the patient's environment remotely and follow the position of the patient and the spiders in it, thanks to the HoloLens camera. Over time, the patient wants to get closer to the digital spiders and eventually tap a glass tank with a real tarantula, allowing them to handle daily encounters.
A similar study Next Reality treated a virtual reality headset a few years ago to combat cockroach phobia, but that happened to the patient who's exposure to cockroach exposure check the.  Hololens & Augmented Reality Spiders used in Univ. Study to Treat Arachnophobia ” width=”360″ height=”360″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>