Owlflix Media and Ryerson University
Owlflix Media is engaged in an ongoing research project with Ryerson University with regards to virtual reality tourism for seniors. One of the objectives is to help validate that virtual reality will play a significant role for seniors in regards to “meaningful leisure” activities. Due to our work at retirement homes for virtual reality presentations we were able to lend our experience and expertise for this initiative.
We’ve already completed phase 1 of the project.
At Owlflix Media we’re poised to meet the demand for virtual reality tourism programs based on an aging population that's trending upward.
An aging population in Canada
According to Statistics Canada, approximately 7.1% of seniors aged 65 years and older and 29.6% of seniors aged 85 years and older live in a collective dwelling. Loneliness and depression in long-term care is a topic of great concern, resulting from the decreased quality of life (QoL). In 2002, the World Health Organization proposed the concept of active aging as a program for policy and program formulation (WHO, 2002). Consequently, research has attempted to assess various intervention programs that may enhance the QoL and wellbeing of seniors living in collective dwellings. Recreational activities are commonly offered to seniors, but evidence indicates there is room for improvement. Residents may complain of stale programming that lacks meaning. As such, there is need for novel approaches aimed at enhancing the quality of life and wellbeing of seniors in residential care. There is a wealth of research suggesting that tourism positively impacts life satisfaction and wellbeing. However, due to physical or financial limitations, tourism may not be accessible to many seniors in residential care. Over the past few decades, computer graphics-based Virtual Reality (VR) has been continuously refined and used in various learning and treatment contexts. As such, VR technology may be used to create an immersive tourist experience for seniors who are homebound.
Dr. Alexandra J. Fiocco
PhD., Department of Psychology, Ryerson University
Alexandra's research interests center around healthy aging and brain health in late life. More specifically, She is interested in exploring the biological, psychological, and social factors that determine cognitive function in late life.
Dr. Richard Lachman
Director of Zone Learning for Ryerson University
Richard's research interests include convergent media, digital documentary, collaborative work, and new forms of storytelling. He teaches classes in digital media, interactive art, animation, digital documentary, virtual environments, and digital culture.
The investigators are working in collaboration with Gianne Willett, Co-Founder of Owlflix Media, a Toronto-based Virtual Reality company.