Facebook Japan launches VR project for welfare purpose

Facebook Japan, Meta’s Japanese subsidiary, has announced a project that will use VR and AR in the welfare field.  Workshops will first be held in Morioka and Kobe cities sometime after January 2023.

The company will collaborate with local governments and Kenta Toshima, a specialist at the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology’s Inami/Kadouchi Laboratory and the president of Digital Stick, a general incorporated association. 

Toshima, who has been working on the use of VR in the field of welfare, earlier worked together on the “METAVERSE EXPO JAPAN 2022,” a metaverse-related conference held in July.

Catering for senior citizens, the project will hold workshops on how to create VR content and then organize “VR travel” experience sessions at welfare facilities, where participants can use the content they have created to take a simulated trip in a VR space. Participants in each location will be able to interact and share content with each other through a platform provided by Meta, in an effort to strengthen the connection of seniors with their local communities.

Facebook Japan noted that XR technology, which is essential for building the metaverse, “has great potential in various fields such as health, welfare, and education.”

Facebook Japan said it will communicate how XR technologies such as VR and AR can have a positive impact on society, especially in the area of social welfare. It also said it intends to step up their efforts to suit the needs of each region by utilizing their ties with local governments, through business collaboration agreements and seminars on the use of the platform for seniors.