Nick manages an international virtual reality (VR) development and research team that designs experiences aimed at shifting a person’s mental state quickly and with little cognitive effort. One of their primary goals in altering emotional and cognitive states is directed towards calming users. Working with Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR, the team takes an evidence-based approach and uses a range of techniques, shapes, and colors to produce deep states of calm and relaxation in under five minutes. Early tests reveal that an astonishing 82% of people report feeling either calm or relaxed after using their experience called “Ripple Effect.” Conversely, using the same methodology, the team has achieved good results in producing more motivated and energetic states, with 77% of people reporting being either cheerful or excited after using their energizing experience called “Ion.” Producing this state could help students who need a boost for studying and testing, as well as athletes looking for a competitive advantage, or anyone looking to increase energy without wanting to consume caffeine or other stimulants. Liminal VR plans to roll out their platform in March of next year.
Part of the beauty of Liminal’s work is that it exists as a collaborative platform for other developers to design experiences. Many major Australian game development schools have joined Liminal’s Partnership Program to date. The benefits to content partners and schools who take advantage of the platform would be the ability to access Liminal’s extensive research by neuroscientists. As part of Liminal’s research agenda, they are currently conducting the world’s most advanced colour-emotion study in partnership with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne.
No doubt that developers and other stakeholders can target useful applications, like, for instance, in psychology where patients with mental illness might benefit from reducing anxiety and depression. Calming patients about to undergo surgeries, dental procedures, or chemo would be quite meaningful. Motivating people with diabetes or nutrition disorders to eat better, helping to calm those with high blood pressure or heart conditions, and lessening the fears of women in labor would be life changing. Imagine being able to download that app!
During a brand activation for Deakin University, Liminal provided a fully immersive VR experience for prospective students on opening day to help them get excited about attending the university. The Liminal team designed an escape-room experience where students had three minutes to escape while assembling a robot. Using Liminal’s state-enhancing techniques, the developers produced the right stimuli to evoke an excited state of being, resulting in a great opening day for the university.
Liminal has also worked with Medibank, Australia’s largest private health insurer to create an experience to help alleviate loneliness in long-term hospital patients. The pilot was rolled out to four hospitals around the country.
Liminal will be seeking to raise capital in a Series A round early next year to expand their team and create even more deeply moving experiences.
Liminal VR/Liminal 360