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Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual sunshine whets the appetite for healthy food

Simulating good weather promotes the desire for healthy food, according to a recent study in Finland. Virtual & augmented reality evidently offer a wide and still largely unexplored field of applications.

11 Dec. 2017
Source: Robert Bosch Start-up GmbH
Source: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Whereas bad weather makes you yearn for chocolate, people exposed to sunshine are more likely to favor healthier rye tortilla chips.

This is the finding of a series of tests with 67 subjects whose eating behavior researchers at the Technical Research Centre of Finland ( VTT ) observed together with their colleagues at the University of Tampere , also in Finland. The scientists also used EEG and ECG to study how some of the subjects’ brain and heart activities changed as a function of the virtual environment.

They found that the study participants were happier and more satisfied in virtual sunshine than in virtual rain. The researchers hope to find ways to make healthy eating more attractive with the help of augmented and virtual reality.

Scientists have only recently begun to explore the potential impact of VR environments on the human psyche. For example, Daniel Freeman, a psychologist at Oxford University in the UK, recently conducted a meta-study demonstrating the benefits of VR technologies in the treatment of various mental illnesses.