RTLTV did a report on the Dolphin Swim Club. TV host Thomas van Hamme went swimming with our wild virtual dolphins, in real water. We also visit an operating theatre in the Clinique Saint Jean, where anaesthetist Arnaud Bosteels produces great results in reducing anxiety in young patients, using our Wild Dolphin VR. A great day with a delightful Belgian Crew! The report aired January 2019.
It began as a simple art project, but then evolved into a successful form of therapy: the Dolphin Swim Club allows people to swim inexpensively with dolphins thanks to virtual reality glasses, which also has a positive impact on their physical condition.
The Dolphin Swim Club was invited to take part in the 20th Laval Virtual, one of the most important events in the world about virtual technologies and uses. Five days of great fun! The whole team assisted about 1,400 visitors to swim with the wild virtual dolphins. And about 600 visitors dared to go in the water and experience our Wild Dolphin Underwater VR. Again our dolphin friends managed to enchant many people of all ages. And as a dolphin joke, to finally have people swimming in tanks to meet them, while they themselves stay in their own home, the free oceans of the world.
During the Laval Virtual event, we also received an ACM SIGGRAPH Award. Needless to say, we are super proud of this achievement!
All over the news
Above you can watch a report by the French M6 TV Channel. But we received more attention, for example from the Dutch Embassy, Le Courrier de la Mayenne, 20 Minutes, Corps en Immersion, J’ai Un Pote Dans La, LCI, Les Numeriques, Infoglitz and Muséographes. Below, you will find more enthousiastic stories by TV channels, YouTubers and bloggers.
Often for an individual with a mental or physical disability, exercise is a challenging topic. But, swimming is not only fun and rewarding, but a great way to keep fit and healthy despite challenges you would normally find with outdoor exercise, or in a gym environment. The wonderful thing about swimming is that in many cases, mobility issues as a result of a disability are often hugely reduced, sometimes almost completely eradicated. The increased freedom of movement is a fantastic experience for anyone who struggles with mobility on solid ground.
Zwemclub Plons is a swimming pool in Brabant (the Netherlands) for people with a disability. The Dolphin Swim Club went for a visit. After we spent a happy, splashy evening in the pool with the swimmers and volunteers of Zwemclub Plons, the team of ZoominTV made this wonderful report: The medical benefits of virtual animals.
Language: Dutch | Subtitles: English
On January 31st 2017, 6.7 million viewers watched the report on the Dolphin Swim Club. We spent two lovely days filming with the crew of TF1. During the second day, we filmed the therapeutic use of the waterproof VR in the pool. We noticed that the camera man, a very experienced underwater filmer, had a dolphin tattoo on his back. Now we knew for sure that the dolphins were in very good hands indeed! A special thanks to Sylvain and Patrique for the wonderful report.
Credits report; S.Millanvoye, P.Marcellin, E.Duboscq.
A Dutch non-profit is strapping waterproof VR headsets on people in pools so they can “swim with dolphins.” The Dolphin Swim Club has been offering the experience, named Dolphin VR, as “dolphin-assisted therapy” since last month. While submerged, you can watch video reels of bottlenose dolphins swimming in their natural habitat. VR specialists Viemr had divers capable of holding their breath for up to 5-minutes record the footage during a 10-day shoot at the Red Sea in December 2015.
A new non-profit organization wants to make swimming with dolphins cruelty-free and an event that can be available to all people. The Dutch company The Dolphin Swim Club may have uncovered a way to allow disabled people to enjoy a swim with dolphins using recent advances made in virtual reality.
Since the 1970s, some researchers have described the positive therapeutic effect that swimming with dolphins can have on people, particularly those with disabilities. However, so-called “dolphin therapy” is not readily available to everyone. For one thing, it can be prohibitively expensive, while the idea of people leaping into pools with captive animals has also been criticized as cruel by environmentalists. A Dutch nonprofit thinks it has the answer, though — and it involves Virtual Reality.
“Swimming with wild dolphins is something most can only dream of, and jumping into pools with captive animals has become increasingly controversial with environmentalists condemning it as cruel. But a Dutch non-profit believes it has found a way to bring people, especially the disabled, closer to such a joyful experience through the technological, immersive advances offered by virtual reality (VR).”
News of our project reached all corners of the world. News agencies from the United Kingdom, India, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Indonesia, Lithuania, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Luxembourg, Canada, Turkey, Italy, Australia, Lebanon and Germany all reported on the Dolphin Swim Club.
The Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad wrote a one-page report on the effectiveness of Virtual Reality on chronic pain treatment and as a relaxation method. The Dolphin Swim Club was mentioned as well. ‘The human brain can easily be fooled‘, says Marijke (founder of the Dolphin Swim Club). ‘Our brain can hardly distinguish a virtual experience from a real one’. Patients no longer have to fly all the way to Curaçao for so-called dolphin therapy, you can take a plunge and swim with the dolphins before going to bed.