Tech Tuesday: A Walk Through Dementia

Watch data visualization intern Tyler Ackerman describe his experience with Alzheimer’s Research UK and their “A Walk Through Dementia”. A simulation of what it is like to live with dementia.

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Hi everyone Tyler from Get Real here and for this Tech Tuesday I wanted to focus on something smaller scale in VR one instance actually it’s called “A Walk Through Dementia” and so Alzheimer’s Research UK decided to take upon take it upon themselves to simulate in virtual reality what it would be like to have dementia so they give you three scenarios that pretty much anyone could be doing at any time going to the grocery store walking down the street and preparing tea in your house but they simulated as if you had dementia so some things that stuck out to me is when I was going shopping I was putting stuff in my cart um and then I get to the checkout and I look down and I have completely different items from what I had just picked up a minute ago not only that I look back at the grocery store and all the aisles are in different places the whole configuration changed another one I was you know just this was during the simulation I was doing um preparing tea and I had my I looked at my tea bags they were sitting on the counter right there and then I turned my head for one second I looked back and they were no longer there and so I felt like I was going crazy you know in my head I was I was sane but it felt like the world around me wasn’t obeying by physics or it wasn’t logical at all and that is exactly how people with dementia feel apparently I was able to experience that I was able to pretty much walk in their shoes using virtual reality and that was the exact purpose of this the purpose of what Alzheimer’s Research UK was doing was to give a scenario for you to empathize and connect with people with dementia basically apparently people with dementia feel lonely and isolated so not only was this a good way to understand where they’re coming from but it’s also just a good talking point you can say I understand what you have to go through now I thought this was a fantastic use of virtual reality especially just because you know virtual reality isn’t always about the latest bombastic groundbreaking technology sometimes it’s just about connecting with people this was an awesome experience the links are in the description it’s free you don’t even need a VR headset you can just use your phone I’ve been Tyler from get real have a great day.