Tech writer and cancer survivor Drew Olanoff has launched a charity aiming to use virtual and augmented reality to assist people stuck in isolation, from those serving in remote places in the military to patients stuck in the hospital.
The organization, called the Balboa Foundation, is partially inspired by Olanoff's own success with VR while in the hospital awaiting a stem cell transplant, he wrote on Medium:
One of the transformative moments for me whilst in the hospital was that computers, mobile phones, platform games, and other things just didn't keep me occupied in a meaningful way. Email, tweets, Facebook…all nice. Madden for hours, sweet. But…I was still in the hospital.
Toss a Gear VR into the mix and my outlook changed. This was what some call an "isolating" experience that for me, as someone who had to spend two 1 month stints in a hospital room and one floor, [was] the opposite.