Swimming with wild dolphins in 360°VR a new medicine?

We will find out!

Swimming with wild dolphins is on the ‘bucket list’ of many. And not without good reason. It’s an amazing experience. Looking into the eye of a dolphin or a whale is a very personal and profound contact with what feels like a different and benevolent civilization to most. The positive bond between dolphins and people living in coastal areas has been accounted for over thousands of years. Even the healing effects are since long known. Legends and stories are abundant, ancient and of more recent date.

Serious medical study on the effect of swimming with wild dolphins of patients with a depression has shown remarkable results. (British Medical Journal)  However most so-called: Dolphin-assisted therapies are with dolphins in captivity. Today, we know so much more about the profound intelligence and social structures of dolphins and whales. Taking away their freedom is by many indications an undesirable practice, and leads to suffering in many ways.

So we thought; Let’s make a great alternative!

With Virtual Reality, anyone can have a great experience, and the wild dolphins stay in their own home, the wide open oceans.  For the love of dolphins.  For the love of people.

The project started as an art project. The quality of the 360°VR content, we were lucky enough to film, is accordingly. We worked with the top-European specialists in 360°VR productions Viemr, and Coolminds who is specialized in VR within healthcare.

In January 2016 Dr. Wim Veling, psychiatrist of the University Medical Centre in Groningen has decided to start an official medical research on the effect of 360° VR-swimming with Dolphins for patients with a depression, with our footage. This research will start in April 2016 with a pilot and will last for 2 years.

In the beginning of 2016 the Dolphin Swim Club has agreed upon a partnership with professor Skip Rizzo as well. Professor Rizzo is the Director Medical Virtual Reality of the Institute for Creative Technologies and Research Professor of the Dept. of Psychiatry and School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. Yep, science, so lot’s of words, actually Skip Rizzo has developed amazing imaginative VR programs to help for example US veterans to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. He works with 360°VR since 1995!  With the footage of the Dolphin Swim Club, Professor Rizzo will look into the field of 360°VR treatment of patients with autism.

Learn more about the work of Prof. Rizzo and Dr. Veling with 360°Virtual Reality.


Prof. Skip Rizzo |

*Main YouTube Channel Link: http://www.youtube.com/user/albertskiprizzo

*Mental Health Channel 2015, Virtual Reality Therapy: https://vimeo.com/123336318

*ICT Promo Piece for VR Exposure Therapy for PTSD and VR Resilience Training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrgUPVFY44o

*CNN’s “The Next List”, Full Episode (22mins) on the work of our lab: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wmM2aCZ3JA

*CNN’s “The Next List”, Version 2 Full Episode (22mins) on the work of our lab, with new footage shifting the emphasis toward civilians with PTS due to terrorist attacks: http://youtu.be/oE8iDS65TlM (aired on May 4, 2013)

*CNN’s “The Next List”, Promo Clip for an episode on the work of our lab: http://whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com/category/the-next-list/

*CNN: Marine Corp Vet Battles PTS with Virtual Reality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjyRu1e-Jmo&feature=channel_video_title

*PBS: Active Duty Marine (Camp Pendleton) Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUl6E76XPs4

*CBC: “The National” Virtual Iraq with Patient discussing treatment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltl9zbDRZWY

*Discovery Channel: Virtual Vietnam VR Exposure Therapy on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_2ZkvAMih8

*9/11 WTC VR Exposure Therapy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAR9QDwBILc

*CNN: Sanjay Gupta tries Virtual Iraq: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1orx97sFGc


Dr. Wim Veling |