Virtual Reality as Safe Environment to Fight the Fear of Heights

Abstract/Technology Overview

Acrophobia is an extreme fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort. The options of treatment for Acrophobia currently consists of behavioural programme or therapy in which someone is incrementally exposed to high places. However, such cases of exposure may have adverse effect on the therapy patient, which can affect the result of the therapy. The use of Virtual Reality may help in creating a safe environment in the therapy session before actually exposing someone to high places. Therapy patient will put on Virtual Reality Head Mounted Display and be placed in a virtual environment that simulates the high locations such as tall buildings, etc.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The computer simulation uses the Oculus Rift technology to run on desktop PC. The advantages of using such set up are the space required can be minimal while being able to achieve the experience required and portability as it can be easily deployed at any therapy locations. The setup can also include additional props to help create a better experience.

Potential Applications

The solution can provide safe training environment for not only psychological therapy but as well as in many other industries. Examples are training of workers such as skyscrapers window cleaning attendant, containers crane operators and many more. The solution can cater to such scenarios to meet the different industry needs.

Contact Person

Teck Boon Steven Yap


Nanyang Polytechnic

Technology Category
  • Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality & Computer-Simulated Environments
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 7

Acrophobia, Virtual Reality, Therapy