Segments in this Video

Virtual Reality (01:45)


Biomedical engineer Jordan Nguyen explores possible uses of virtual reality. He wants to create a digital copy of a person, who will have its own life in virtual reality.

Psychology of VR (06:14)

Nguyen partners with two psychologists to test how VR affects people. They monitor involuntary physicals responses while wearing a VR headset that uses an optical illusion to trick the brain.

PTSD and VR (03:42)

Psychologist Skip Rizzo uses VR and exposure therapy to help veterans deal with PTSD. The virtual world is customized to each patient and he or she is asked to narrate experiences. For many patients, it is the first time they have been able to talk about what happened.

Phobias and VR (04:02)

Therapist Corrie Ackland helps Nguyen face his fear of spiders using VR. The treatment employs the same concept as exposure therapy; facing fears repeatedly until they no longer create a response.

Empathy and VR (05:24)

The United Nations commissions filmmaker Barry Pousman to capture the experience of Syrian refugees. The immersive experience encourages compassion and a willingness to offer assistance. Nguyen uses VR film as part of an empathy experiment for volunteers.

Muscle Wasting and VR (04:31)

Angus McConnel has a broken spine as a result of a motorcycle accident. He uses VR and muscle stimulation to build muscles in his legs. The visuals of climbing a mountain makes the experience feel more meaningful for him.

Dark Side of VR (05:33)

VR can elicit physical and emotional responses from the user. It also collects huge amounts of data, the uses of which are not fully understood. Nguyen spends five hours in VR to study its effects.

Interactive Digital Clones (05:35)

VR technology has reached a point where digital copies of people can be created. Nguyen discusses creating a digital clone of his grandfather. As technology advances, ethical and emotional questions about uses must be explored.

Avatar Creation (07:19)

Nguyen uses artificial intelligence to make the digital copy of volunteer Miquel interactive. The Institute for Creative Technologies utilizes a light stage to capture photo-realistic copies of people. The institute has created an avatar of a Holocaust survivor.

Beginning an Avatar (08:06)

Nguyen and two researchers from the University of Newcastle capture Miquel's likeness. The team converts the 2D images into a 3D avatar. Nguyen explores the concept of the "uncanny valley" with special effects expert Mike Seymour.

Miquel's Avatar (04:48)

The team completes Miquel's avatar and shows it to his wife Maureen. The avatar is inside a virtual replica of their home.

Credits: Meet the Avatars (00:01)

Credits: Meet the Avatars

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Meet the Avatars

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Imagine you could make a copy of a loved one. A digital clone with a life of its own — their avatar. That’s the dream of biomechanical engineer Dr. Jordan Nguyen, and he says we have the technology to do it right now in the form of virtual reality. VR might be thought of as a way to play games, but as Nguyen discovers, it’s so much more. VR is being used to face phobias, to combat trauma, and—in the case of one Newcastle man—to help reverse the effects of a catastrophic spinal injury.

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL188127

ISBN: 978-1-64623-390-8

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Only available in USA and Canada.