Phobia Free coming to Oculus Rift
In short: Virtually Free announces it will develop for Oculus Rift. Phobia Free and Stress Free will be re-developed for it first. In the future all relevant apps will be compatible with Oculus Rift.
Our original concept for our apps was to use virtual reality. That's why we named the company 'Virtually Free'. The idea was to use immersive exposure in virtual reality to help people overcome phobias and other problems. When we started developing our apps there was no easy way to do this. Virtual reality equipment was very expensive and unavailable to the average person. Part of our mission is that our apps should be as accessible as possible. We didn't want people to have to go to a special clinic where the equipment is provided or make a special purchase. That is why we developed Phobia Free to use only what is available on mainstream mobile devices and PCs.
Ever since they were successful with their kickstarter campaign we have been watching the people from over at Oculus. We figured that if their platform goes mainstream we will then have a way to turn our vision into reality. The Oculus people seem to be doing an amazing job with their marketing and keeping up the hype so we now believe that it will indeed go mainstream. We recently received our developer kit and we have been playing with it. Richard put a horse-sized tarantula in the back garden of one of the virtual houses that comes with the development kit. We sent Russ to explore the house. Russ is much better from his phobia than he was thanks to Phobia Free. He is able to tolerate spiders in the room without running away and he is able to look at pictures of them without much trouble. He is still not thrilled with them, but he is at the point where spiders are not too much of an issue. Having said this he was not prepared for a horse-sized tarantula yet. See the results here.
I am not scared of spiders at all. In fact, I quite like them. Even I must admit that the huge spider in VR was... quite a challenge to approach. After our first-hand experience we have to acknowledge that VR exposure is much more powerful than we thought.
This experiment has convinced us that the technology the Oculus people have developed will be very powerful for treatment of emotional health conditions. Most importantly it is easy to develop for and affordable for the average person. We are fans!