In the face of the ongoing lockdown, vTime today announced it’s created a private version of its social AR/VR platform, vTime XR, which is designed to help social care continue in the UK for families and vulnerable children.
The project was licensed to London-based social care group The Cornerstone Partnership, which has partnerships spanning multiple UK counties. Established in 2015 by its parent company the Antser Group, Cornerstone has even created its own VR tool for use in child adoption and fostering.
The project will be independent from the publicly-accessible version of vTime XR, which is available on most VR headsets as well as mobile devices for free.
vTime calls it a “closed, safe space for local authorities across the UK to continue their critical work with children and adults throughout the pandemic.”
As a private instance of the entire social platform, vTime says participants will be able to meet privately with families, teams of people, or individuals for things like remote supervision, virtual respite, therapeutic sessions, direct work with young people, and supervised contact.
“Based on the pilot findings, we believe the tool will be particularly useful for maintaining contact and direct work with adolescents and for carers/residential workers to receive supervision and support in an environment that allows them “virtual respite” particularly where there may be placement stability concerns,” says Helen Costa, co-founder of the Cornerstone Partnership and Group Director for Antser. “It may also be particularly useful as a means of managing birth family contact where there are ongoing familial or extra-familial safeguarding risks.”
Having launched the first iteration of its social network on Gear VR back in 2015, vTime XR has continued with a decidedly different approach to building an immersive social space. Chats are limited in number, and are always seated, meaning new users don’t have to worry about mastering movement schemes to have a chat.
Both its simplicity and implied intimacy seem to be an ideal fit for the task of regular social care. Even then, the company says its experienced a 79% increase in daily new users since lockdown began. When a cherry blossom garden or Victorian train to nowhere is sitting right there in your VR headset, or on your AR-enabled smartphone, it’s no wonder why people are looking for a momentary escape from home.