Technological innovations can pretty much be split into two categories. Some are developed to meet an existing need, such as optimized data links that, at the very least, make waiting a little more bearable. As you'd expect, innovations like these are popular from the get-go and - when done well - are an understandable commercial success. Others, however, seem exciting at first, but the actual demand for them is less clear, leaving developers and marketing strategists to search for that "killer application" that will both meet and generate demand. Virtual reality (VR) belongs to the second category - although its benefits and potential uses have been highlighted in countless publications, it is still waiting for its big breakthrough. And so the search for the "killer application" continues. In the meantime, there is perhaps an alternative, very practical application that could make life easier for a lot of people - "MyHilda", a project for the VR age from Ralph Keller.
"MyHilda" is an online store that has been specially developed for senior citizens. Designed to be used on a tablet, it features helpful onscreen guidance for users. Thanks to support from expert programmers at Area 1, "MyHilda" has now been upgraded to a VR-based shopping solution that aims to give senior citizens a much more familiar three-dimensional shopping experience. Ultimately, "MyHilda - VR-Shopping65+" is an innovative approach that shows how VR technology can make it easier - or even possible in the first place - for the elderly and housebound to shop for consumer goods. Building on findings from the project "Innovation+" sponsored by HannoverImpuls, the VR version of "MyHilda" offers a string of benefits over its previous tablet-only incarnation. Its virtual environment can be tailored to the specific needs of senior shoppers, confusing menu levels in the user interface have been eliminated, controls and navigation have been adapted to account for age-related limitations, and users can shop in an environment that looks familiar to them, helping them feel better able to look after themselves again.
Ralph Keller - MyHilda (30519 Hannover, Germany), Hall 27, Stand C78 (2018)