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Virtual Hallucinating Device Drives Police Insane for a Day

( via wired > techbiz )

By Vince Beiser


– Illustration by Chris Rubino

Being crazy is hard, but it’s worth the effort. Especially if you’re a cop, paramedic, or social worker who may someday need to deal with a person having a psychotic episode. At those times, empathy can be crucial.

That’s where Virtual Hallucinations comes in. The training device, created by Janssen L.P., is a rig with earphones and goggles that plunges the wearer into the mind of a serious schizophrenic. The system offers two interactive scenarios. In one, you’re riding a bus in which other riders appear and disappear, birds of prey claw at the windows, and voices hiss, “He’s taking you back to the FBI!” The other features a trip to the drugstore, where the pharmacist seems to be handing you poison instead of pills, and hostile customers stare at you in disgust.

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Filed under: design, research, space/place, technology

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