Through a collaboration with AARP, summit initiatives will raise awareness of the way VR can revolutionize the way we think about aging

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The VR/AR Association (VRARA) today announced a collaboration with AARP to highlight the benefits of virtual and augmented reality to empower people to choose how they live as they age. The VRARA is the organization behind this week’s Global Summit (November 1st and 2nd), an event that explores the newest trends in virtual, augmented and mixed reality (XR) technology.

“As this technology evolves, we now understand that its applications go beyond just novelty gaming and even enterprise solutions. They are the natural next step to enhance the ways we communicate, share, access, and experience information and data,” said Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder and President of the VR/AR Association. “We are excited to have AARP as a collaborator to emphasize the far-reaching applications this industry has and the benefit it can bring to millions of everyday people.”

With 132 million Americans age 50 and older set to spend upwards of $84 billion a year on technology products by the year 2030, there is a massive opportunity for immersive technology to provide this demographic with innovations that can combat issues such as social isolation, wellness and overall quality of life. In 2015, AARP announced the creation of its Innovation Lab, a team dedicated to the discovery of technology solutions that support America’s aging population. Innovation Catalyst and Head of Virtual Reality at AARP Innovation Labs, Cezara Windrem, will be at the VRARA Global Summit in Vancouver this week to speak about, and advocate for, the importance of diversity in storytelling and content creation.

Windrem’s primary focus has been on creating a platform called Alcove for AARP. Alcove is an immersive platform with interactive content that, by using a pair of VR goggles, allows people to enter into a familiar space, alone or with family, and experience things that enhance their quality of life (think: guided breathing exercises), combat loneliness (think: watching TV with a grandchild who lives overseas) or would otherwise be inaccessible to them (think: flying over the Swiss Alps in a hot air balloon).

“No longer limited to creating fantasy worlds, virtual reality can recreate the world as we know it. We can recreate familiar environments where people can connect and recognize the things around them, regardless of time, distance, or mobility constraints,” said Cezara Windrem.

The older population is becoming increasingly interested in technology. A recent report found that as of 2019, 13% of people over 50 are using virtual reality – though not a huge number yet, this represents a 4% increase over last year and indicates a fast-growing lane of opportunity.

The VR/AR Global Summit will be held in Vancouver, Canada, on November 1-2. At this year’s summit, AARP is supporting the Speed Dating Session that will take place on Saturday morning, an hour-long business networking event where attendees spend 2-minute sessions networking with industry leaders. AARP will also collaborate on the 2020 Pitchfests presented by the VRARA, taking the initiative to ensure that these crucial forums for advancement remain open to all those innovating in the industry.

To register for a ticket please visit https://www.vrarglobalsummit.com/tickets

About the VR/AR Global Summit

The VR/AR Global Summit will bring together industry frontrunners from around the world to discuss the present and future of immersive technologies. This world-class summit will welcome 1000+ Executives, 120+ Speakers and 50+ Exhibitors from leading companies like Lenovo, Niantic, Microsoft, Viacom, and so many more.

About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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