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Junyeong

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The first test didn't go so well. He needs reading glasses and wasn't able to see things clearly.

A little background…My Dad has cried 4 times that I know of, two that I've seen. One or both of the times that I've seen could have been PBA, but lets pretend that this time it wasn't. It has been my goal to find some way to make him so emotional (happy) that he cries, and I think I did it! :)

We tried to place the headset on his face WITH his reading glasses, but it didn't work. It would push the bridge into his noise and he let us know it had to come off! It is hard to adjust the headset and get it into position unless you're the one doing the adjusting! He was able to get a sense of movement and depth but with a blurry image.

I have two sets of old reading glasses to work with. My plan is to disassemble the Rift, cut out a piece of cardboard that perfectly fits the inside snug, and glue/tape/whatever the lenses from the reading glasses to holes cut in the cardboard directly in front of the Rift's lenses.

We ran two demos "on rails". This means that all you can do is sit there and look arou, you are in a char on "rails". One was called "Welcome to Oculus" and the other was an Apollo 11 moon landing experience. It looked like he cried once orbiting the earth and another time when my mom held his hand. My wife and I both cried when we did it because it feels so amazing and real. What those crazy people did in the late 60s is hard to believe!

I captured footage from two angles of putting the headset on, going through the virtual realty experience, and also captured the computer screen. When I have time I'll put together a video showing all views at the same time. By that time I hope I have found a better way for someone who needs reading glasses to use the thing.

The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset will be fun for PALS who have strength to hold their heads level to the horizon. If you have to lay back against a bed or headrest you will be looking at the wrong spot and it won't work. The more range of motion in your head and body, the better. Just like trumpets and scissors can discriminate against left handed people, these things weren't designed for people with limited mobility in mind! If you have good range of motion and fast response in your head/neck there are even some games that work entirely off of head motion!

I was very surprised to see how much he moved his head up, down, right, and left! I haven't seen him move his head that much in months, but something in that headset must have been worth it! His trach bothers him when he moves. At the end I told him he spent 43 minutes getting the headset into position and going through the VR experiences. For a guy who tires easily (due to ALS) he was surprised to hear how long it was.

A consumer version of the Oculus Rift is supposed to be available the first quarter of next year. Since it isn't available to buy right now I felt kind of bad posting this, but it is always good to have something to look forward to! It was supposed to be available for preorder fall or late 2015, but I guess it isn't late enough yet or they are having trouble. I really thought they would offer to take people's money before Christmas!

If you think you are interested in this, make sure you talk to me before buying or upgrading your computer to make sure it can handle it! One of the KEY parts to not getting motion sickness or to fall out of the immersion effect is to have a fast computer with a nice video card. If the video image drops below 75 frames per second your right and left eye can see different pictures for an instant of a second. It doesn't make ME sick, just mad! It really takes away the "real" part of virtual reality. The proper computer without a monitor/keyboard/mouse will be at least $1200, and closer to $1800 if you don't compromise. The one I built for my Dad to try the thing has a $650 video card in it! (recommended by the creators, by the way) One can probably be bought in the $350-400 range.

Once his vision improves we will inch ourselves towards getting him into a roller coaster. :twisted:
 

JimInVA

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My son's college roommate of 4+ years has become like our second son. Andrew found the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to be something of great interest. He has worked in the film industry as a producer and director of commercials and short films for a number of years... the last two of which have been with a concentration for filming in VR. I find that what you are attempting to do with your Dad to be extremely interesting. I am going to pass the contents of your post on to Andrew. I think he'd find it interesting, too.

My PALS, my wife Darcey, used to tell me how fun it was to walk and run again in her dreams. Recently, she commented that she doesn't even do that anymore in her dreams. I can only imagine how much she'd enjoy the feeling that she was running again. Obviously, the OR has some weight to it... and that weight could prove difficult for many PALS. But like most technology, it will become lighter and less expensive in time. And when our PALS world seems to shrink in upon them, the idea of something that... even for just a moment can open it back up again... I find very exciting.

Well done on your determination to keep your Dad's life interesting with new opportunities. And well done on working to find a way to incorporate his glass lenses into the OR!

Jim
 

ShiftKicker

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This is really interesting. Thanks for the share. Amazing what determination and ingenuity can accomplish. I look forward to hearing what other adjustments youcome up with to enable your dad to take full advantage of e technology.
With regards to the weight of the set- I am positive that these will get lighter over the years. There are also ways to brace and suspend equipment to allow for easier movement, I'm sure. I bet, if you ask any engineering student, they'd be able to sort something out quickly. My husband just completed his electrical engineering degree, and they all have to complete some sort of project for graduation. Though his was not related to mobility, at least 4 other groups in his year had projects directly related to ease of access, adaptability and mobility for those with function issues. I do not think VR will be ignored as a tool for those with limited mobility- it's too beneficial!
 

Junyeong

New member
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
9
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CALS
Diagnosis
09/2010
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US
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Alaska
City
Anchorage
Not to be negative, but I don't see this technology being any more accessible than any other technology. :cry: It might be made accessible by myself or others, but there will still be a walled garden of "accessible" parking spots.

Search for Wiihab, short for Wii Rehabilitation. It has been proven to be extremely effective for patient compliance in stroke victims. I think I've read about MS patients using them too.

I've seen dozens of educational institutions and study employ these techniques and those like them, but not wide spread acceptance where insurance companies are expected to step in. Most of the time I've tried to get more information the students have moved on to graduation and jobs and the work freezes in time as a proof of concept. For example, VR has been shown to help stroke victims walk…but where is it?

The risk/reward required to commercially develop these concepts into products is too expensive for existing companies to handle. The ones who can handle it can't find a way to make enough exclusivity to guarantee (a "worthwhile") profit.

What I'm doing for my father is based entirely on emotions and a "market" of one instead of a profit motive. I'm hoping it can help others as well. I have some ideas to cure the limited range of motion issue, but I'm not willing to risk damaging my headset until I can replace it! I'm also talking with some business people hoping to find a benevolent benefactor to make some of these ideas a reality for everyone. I hope I can find that and prove this whole post wrong. :twisted:
 

Junyeong

New member
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
9
Reason
CALS
Diagnosis
09/2010
Country
US
State
Alaska
City
Anchorage
My PALS, my wife Darcey, used to tell me how fun it was to walk and run again in her dreams. Recently, she commented that she doesn't even do that anymore in her dreams. I can only imagine how much she'd enjoy the feeling that she was running again. Obviously, the OR has some weight to it... and that weight could prove difficult for many PALS. But like most technology, it will become lighter and less expensive in time. And when our PALS world seems to shrink in upon them, the idea of something that... even for just a moment can open it back up again... I find very exciting.

Well done on your determination to keep your Dad's life interesting with new opportunities. And well done on working to find a way to incorporate his glass lenses into the OR!

Jim

I used to have dreams of my dad recovering from ALS and starting to hobble around. It would scare me because he was falling over in the dream. Monday night I had a dream about dreaming about him walking again. I hope I can go back to the single layer dream of him walking, even if it scared me!

The headset might get lighter in the future. It is pretty light right now, but his neck is very weak as it is. However, like I said I've never seen him move his head so much! He must have been immersed enough to ignore all of the discomfort of his trach. He doesn't even move his head that much when he is upset at my mom for not understanding him!

I've had a runny nose type cold for a week and a half and haven't seen him or done any more with the VR. I can't risk that he gets pneumonia again.

I don't have any pictures of him doing it, only videos and they are all at my dad's house. As soon as I can I will at least update with a picture!
 
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