News

Wired UK Covers ICT Virtual Reality Advances for Health Care

August 1, 2015

The July issue of Wired UK highlights the story of Chris Merkle, a U.S. veteran who used ICT’s virtual reality therapy for treatment of his PTSD. Encountering virtual reality in the summer of 2013 was “an amazing thing”, he says. “I was so much calmer with the road rage, and my family. It unleashed a lot. I would never have been able to talk like this a year ago.”

The story quotes Skip Rizzo and covers other ICT mental health VR work, including introducing a clinical trial for victims of sexual trauma in the military, and building Strive, a pre-deployment tool that depicts scenes that PTSD sufferers typically report as significant to their trauma.

The story also notes that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey contacted ICT’s Mark Bolas, who pioneered VR in the 80s, and, in 2011.  Bolas, now director of Mixed Reality Research at ICT, helped Luckey get a job in his lab, where Luckey worked with Rizzo, who needed a cheaper, better-quality HMD for his PTSD research.

“We knew this guy had talent and vision for how to create these headsets, and Mark helped him and provided guidance on the open-source design,” Rizzo says. “The vision was always there. What we needed was wide-field view, a more comfortable head-mounted display and lower-cost built-in tracking. That’s Oculus.”