Jul 12, 2016

Samsung thinks you can overcome your fear of spiders using virtual reality

Posted by in category: virtual reality

VR for phobias; makes sense. Scared of spiders? Samsung believes VR may be the treatment for you.

Could you face your fears if you knew you weren’t actually facing your fears? That’s the premise behind a virtual reality experiment Samsung is running for a new app called Itsy, which is designed to help people face their fear of spiders. Created with the help of researchers at Stockholm University, Itsy tries to wean people into giving up their fear of arachnids.

The program is being run by Samsung’s Nordic branch, and the reason is extremely specific.

It turns out 25 percent of Nordic people have a fear of spiders. This presented a good way to test VR and help people at the same time. First subjects are asked to walk as close to a tarantula as they can get. Most of them don’t get far. That’s when Itsy comes in.

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