Insight Immersive Technology Experts Bring the North Pole to Children’s Hospitals in the U.S. and Australia via Custom VR Experience
Santa Claus is coming to town for pediatric patients in Tampa, Florida, and Western Australia, and he’s taking them on a virtual reality (VR) ride to the North Pole thanks to an immersive holiday experience created by Insight Enterprises, the global provider of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organizations of all sizes.
For a third year in a row, Insight’s Digital Innovation team on Friday brought a VR game and 360-video experience to children at Tampa General Hospital. This year, Insight teammates also expanded their reach by taking the custom-made “Holiday Madness” game to patients at Perth Children’s Hospital today in conjunction with the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Matt Fedorovich, Insight’s national lead for immersive technology, created the VR experience in which children and their families put on Oculus Quest VR headsets to take a magical sleigh ride with Santa and fend off flying presents at the North Pole. Insight volunteers connected the headsets to monitors so that the families could watch their children venture into the virtual snow. Insight teammates also brought a real bag of toys from Santa to hand out to the children at the end of their VR sleigh rides.
“We didn’t want children to feel stuck in a hospital when they should be home celebrating the holidays, so I thought we could create a way to remind them that this time of year is still fun,” said Fedorovich. “We get excited at Insight developing intelligent applications for businesses using augmented and virtual reality. That includes everything from interactive training, virtual shopping experiences for retail, augmented manufacturing and industrial field services, and 3D modeling in healthcare. But seeing the kids’ eyes light up after they’ve put on the headsets brings home the true meaning of what we do.”
Leigh Shayler, a technology strategist for intelligent applications at Insight Australia, helped bring the Santa VR experience to dozens of patients at Perth Children’s Hospital. He said: “Virtual reality can take us anywhere and help us see the world in enhanced ways. We hope today’s holiday experience sparks the curiosity of the children and opens up a world of possibilities for where technology can carry them in the future.”
As part of its Reach mission, Insight actively pursues ways to enable the lives of children through technology. Fedorovich said the Insight Digital Innovation team is planning to carry that forward with similar Christmas in July VR experiences at children’s hospitals in Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, next year.
“We’re only beginning to scrape the surface of the benefits of virtual and augmented reality in business, and we feel the same way about what we’re doing for pediatric patients. Bringing smiles to children’s faces reinforces the possibilities and impact that AR and VR technology can have for those who use it,” Fedorovich said.
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