There’s a new ‘pod’ in town, and it costs a whole lot more than the freshest Airpods. Meet the Krysalis Pod — the latest tech marvel soon to arrive from Silicon Valley. Lobe Sciences Ltd. is partnering with Virtual Psychedelics Inc. to design the pods in question. With the help of sci-fi level biometrics, Krysalis Pods are designed to give us a virtual psychedelic experience… Think of it as a doozy digital trip in a physical “cocoon”. Just like in The Matrix!
Virtual Psychedelic Apps
Virtual psychedelic therapy isn’t exactly a brand-new thing. The Trip App, for example, was launched by Field Trip Health last year as a “digital companion” to their on-site therapists. There’s also Lumenate, which makes use of your phone’s flashlight to induce a “semi-psychedelic” state of mind.
These are all smartphone-based apps, of course. Which brings us back to this handy piece of tech. Honestly? A smartphone kinda limits the sight-and-sound experience for a truly “escapist adventure”. To use the Trip App or Lumenate, one still has to fumble with earphones for a good minute. Not to mention seeking a quiet place to trip out in — a sweet spot luxury not all of us can get during lockdown. (Hello there, family members I’ve been stuck inside with for a year! I’ll be in the bathroom for the next hour or so…)
A Media Experience Like No Other
Enter the Krysalis Pod.
If all goes well, you won’t have to worry about headsets for your next guided virtual therapy sesh. Just take your magic mushrooms or truffles, pop inside a sturdy “cocoon” (also known as a chrysalis — get it?) and lose yourself in a dream-like sea of lights and sounds — all shown with advanced display technology. Krysalis is virtual reality (VR) at its most immersive yet… In fact, Hollywood director Brett Leonard, co-founder of Studio Lightship, has been tapped to help with Krysalis Pod’s virtual cinematic storytelling.
In a 2016 interview with Slashfilm, Leonard explains how VR is not just a video gimmick:
“Well, it’s a truly immersive medium and the level of graphics, already quite strong, will only continue to get better and better. You really feel like you are someplace else…and what you see, what you experience, it impacts your brain.
“So there are major implications here, to societal structure, to democracy to the way in which we interact with each other. To the nature of love, to the nature of sexuality.”
The team is also joined by University of Southern California professor Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, whose work in clinical virtual reality for the past 20 years will come in handy. Dr. Rizzo is known for using VR to help veterans suffering from PTSD, kids with ADHD, and treating social anxiety on the autism spectrum.
In an interview with VFXvoice.com, Dr. Rizzo talks about how VR therapy helps treat PTSD in young veterans:
“Bravemind is our VR exposure therapy – a means for a patient to confront and process their trauma memories through a retelling of the experience – aimed at providing relief from PTSD – and it has been shown to produce a meaningful reduction in symptoms.
“Rather than relying exclusively on imagining a particular scenario, a patient can experience it again in a virtual world under very safe and controlled conditions.
“We see that young military personnel, having grown up with digital gaming technology, may actually be more attracted to and comfortable with a VR treatment approach as an alternative to traditional talk therapy.”
“Easy, Immersive” Therapy
With all this in mind, are Krysalis Pods the next big step in VR for mental health? Philip Young, CEO and director of Lobe, certainly thinks so:
“Lobe is extremely pleased to partner with industry veterans such as Brett Leonard and Dr. Skip Rizzo, to be at the forefront of psychedelic research, development, and treatment.
“We believe this technology will be able to assist those suffering from depression, PTSD and other mental health issues.”
Mr. Young goes on to say that the Krysalis Pods, once out in the market, will be able to deliver an “easy, immersive media experience” while collecting critical biometric data at the same time.
How Biometrics Help
Basically, biometric data is the total combination of “life signs” you can offer. Such as your hand shape, fingerprints, temperature, iris, heartbeat, etc. This type of data is often used in buildings with tight security (Think Tom Cruise’s heists in ‘Mission: Impossible’).
Although in this case, biometrics are a way to measure your overall health — your mental health to be precise. So while you’re stuck inside the Krysalis Pod, a biometrics system will track your life signs to see if your psilocybin therapy is working or not.
Yep, it’s the future alright!
The Future of Set and Setting?
‘Set and setting’ is one of the basic psychedelic concepts you should know. Especially if you’re planning to take magic mushrooms and truffles for the first time (check out our easy-to-follow guide right here) The phrase refers to your environments while taking psychedelics — both inner (“set” or mindset) and outer (“setting”). The ideal setting is one closest to nature, such as a park or a forest. But of course, such idyllic retreats are simply not an option for most of us right now. Which brings us back to virtual options, such as Krysalis Pods!
According to Lobe Sciences, the Krysalis Pod will have advanced display tech inside the “cocoon” for maximum illusion. An immersive VR experience (without a headset!) gives a groovy set-and-setting for those unable to secure one, in time for therapy.
So are you stressed AF, but also stuck in a busy city with cars honking all the time? Easy peasy! Just pop your psilocybin meds, chat with your therapist, and curl up in a Krysalis Pod for a couple of hours… Et voila!
Out of the Krysalis…
So there it is. Medical virtual reality is now a thing, apparently — and psychedelic-based therapy is its first breakthrough. How awesome would Krysalis Pods be for those with PTSD, anxiety, and other conditions, who just need that extra push with their clinical therapy…Spiritual healing asks you to totally “lose” yourself. Will VR pods help you with that? Seems like it!
Of course this is currently pretty ‘pie-in-the-sky’ for the average person, but hopefully, the technology will soon be rolled out for a wider audience.
Psychedelic research has gone a looong way this past year or so. But it’s always useful for doctors to have a new tool for healing. Whatever helps you get the most out of your magic mushrooms and truffles, right? As science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once wrote:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
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