Over 36,000 Kiwis experience Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) per year. TBI patients often experience severe cognitive fatigue, which impairs their ability to cope well in public/social settings. Rehabilitation can involve taking people into social settings with a therapist so that they can relearn how to interact in these environments. However, this is a time-consuming, expensive and difficult process.
To address this, we’ve created the TBI Cafe, a VR tool designed to help TBI patients cope with their injury and practice interacting in a cafe. In this application, people in VR practice ordering food and drink while interacting with virtual characters. Different types of distractions are introduced, such as a crying baby and loud conversations, which are designed to make the experience more stressful, and let the user practice managing stressful situations. Clinical trials with the software are currently underway.Project Video(s):