Though not the same as actually jumping into the waves, a virtual reality program like this one that let a headset-wearing patient "swim with dolphins" was enough of an immersive distraction to significantly reduce pain, a study found.
Courtesy of Cedars Sinai/Screenshot by NPR
A moment from Embodied Labs' virtual reality video of Clay Crowder, a fictional 66-year-old man with incurable lung cancer. In this scene, Clay's family gathers around his bed, reassuring him that it's OK to let go of life.
NPR reporter Aarti Shahani tested Facebook's new social VR platform. She requested an older avatar to represent her, but that was not available. Her guide "Phil" had her tour virtual cherry blossoms.
A Syrian woman and her child sit in their refugee living space in Lebanon. They are featured in Four Walls, a virtual reality presentation by the International Rescue Committee.
At Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., riders of the New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster wear VR goggles to play a video game while the roller coaster twists and turns.
Courtesy of Six Flags
Virginia Anderlini (right) was the first private client to try out Dr. Sonya Kim's new virtual reality program for the elderly, and says she's eager to see more. Kim's handful of programs are still at the demo stage.
Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, demonstrates the new Oculus Rift headset during the "Step Into The Rift" event in San Francisco in June 2015.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendant wearing an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset demonstrates a glove with a Yamaha Corp. rubber-like sensor at the Wearable Expo in Tokyo, on Jan. 13.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Project Nourished's virtual eating gizmos. From left: An atomizer that releases the scents of a food; a virtual reality headset; a a device that mimics the chewing sounds transmitted from a diner's mouth to their ear drums; a cocktail glass with built-in sensors; a utensil that picks up on the diner's movements and integrates them into the virtual reality experience; and a 3-D printed food cube.
Courtesy of Project Nourished