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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype wearable virtual reality device to provide individuals with balance disorders with supplemental auditory and visual information to assist in restoring normal gait. Scientists at the Techion Institute of Technology in Israel have created a prototype virtual reality gait feedback device which combines a wearable cell-phone sized audio component and a visual feedback apparatus. The audio component measures body movement and then processes the information sending feedback to the user through earphones. The visual component presents users with a virtual, tiled-floor image displayed on one eye via a tiny piece that clips onto glasses worn by the user. This allows the user to distinguish between the virtual floor and real obstacles, making it possible to navigate even rough terrain or stairs. This prototype provides responses to user’s motions rather than providing just fixed visual or auditory cues. Research has shown that this device improves gait in both individuals with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. TITLE: Virtual reality device helps multiple sclerosis patients walk. WEBSITE: medGadget. REF: http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2007/05/virtual_reality_device_helps_
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