Swimming with dolphins: Helping VR Therapies to connect, collaborate and grow

One month on from our first major tech event, Merged Futures, we’re reflecting on our successes so far.

The success of Digital Northampton is tied to our vision: Connect, Collaborate, Grow.

Merged Futures brought people from different sectors together to showcase their work to a wider audience. It was also an opportunity for people who met through the Digital Northampton project to have further conversations on how they can work together.


Case study: VR Therapies and Iris IoT

Rebecca Gill is a nurse and Virtual Reality (VR) Therapist who has connected with Stephen Westley from Iris IoT to positive effect.

Rebecca says:

I stumbled across VR footage of swimming with dolphins last year and realised it would be amazing combined with hydrotherapy.

My background is nursing so I've been getting as much advice as possible on the technical side of things. I was already in touch with someone who creates the underwater VR headsets in Russia, but I needed a phone for each one, which I couldn't afford.

I attended all the local workshops I could and met lots of great local businesses, then attended an Early Bird event and met the people involved in Digital Northampton including Stephen Westley from Iris IoT.

Stephen makes waterproof phones! It’s funny who you meet… He offered to loan VR Therapies a waterproof phone as well as provide advice on which phones would be suitable.

As I don't yet have a hydrotherapy pool to test it in, through these connections I managed to test my underwater VR kit, in a hot tub, surrounded by dolphins (VR) as well as alpacas and emus (real)… Did I mention we were on a farm?

Since then, I have been able to do with further tests with flotation pools (no emus).

I am looking for premises but struggling to find something affordable. As a specialist centre, disabled access will be a priority requiring more space for things like wheelchairs and hoists. I’m hoping to make further connections to make this a reality!

Can you help Rebecca?

If you think you could help Rebecca with affordable premises to create a base for VR Therapies, you can get in touch with her on Twitter at @vrtherapiesltd

David Bevan