The final session in Phobia Free will use augmented reality to allow you to confront spiders in the real world. We will project the image of our spider -- which will behave and look like the real thing -- onto your coffee table, kitchen counter or desk. To do this we put your iPhone or iPad in camera mode and when you look through the screen the spider will appear in the real world allowing you to interact with it. Our intuition and experience tells us that this is likely to get the best results. We think this might be better than virtual reality (no silly headsets for one). Using augmented reality we don't have to recreate the world around you, we can concentrate on making the spider real.
Being the nerds we are we rather have some sience than good intuition so we looked at what researchers have found out about using augmented reality in phobias. A group out of Jaume University in Valencia has been busy at work for a few years figuring out just how good this method can be. Their paper, published in 2010, shows that augmented reality can be very effective in the treatment of phobias. They tested it with cockroach phobia in 6 people with very good results. This tells us that we are on the right track. Before we release the app maybe a few of you could help us test it out. Post a comment to let us know you are interested!