Different virtual nature environments are created in the project to be used with VR-glasses, a dome and screens . The goal is to create VR-environments with optimized health promoting qualities, both in general and specifically for the different client groups in the project. The interventions will be audio-visual experiences as well as stimulate other senses as scent, feel etc.
Design of Virtual Nature Interventions
The filmed environments are chosen with the background knowledge of what nature types are the most restorative and what properties are the most important for the well-beeing. Previous research have for example shown that important properties are a good view, shelter, water etc. Important can also be what kind of nature environments you grew up with. Read more about previous research here!
To further examine what environments and nature elements that are the most restorative and to meet the requirements of the different client groups, a variety of sites is chosen; in different forest types (pine, spruce, descidious forests), nature types (forest, lake, sea, river, mire), seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter), time of day, different weather and spread out in the different project regions, mainly in the vicinity of the different client group locations (Sweden; Norrbotten/Övertorneå, Västerbotten, Västernorrland/Österåsen, Finland; Vaasa surroundings, Eskoo). In addition some sites are also chosen in farm environments with animals.
A very good opportunity is given in the project to evaluate whether there are differences in preference and differences in the effect on the participants' well-being, between the VR environments. To do this, we plan to investigate these differences using both the results from the physical measurements and from the mood surveys and interviews conducted in the project.
Within the Natureach project, virtual nature is created by videos shot with 360- and 180- degree cameras as well as standard cameras with fisheye lenses. The sounds are recorded with separate professional audio equipment and to enhance the immersive experience, the audio-visual sensations will also later be completed with scents, tastes and tactile sensations by adding natural elements from the authentic environments (e.g. branches, leaves, moss, flowers or berries) to the settings used in virtual nature interventions.