The use of psychedelics as a treatment for depression, stress, anxiety, and even pain has become a widely studied, yet still taboo, industry, But VR startup, Tripp, has developed an option that might be more digestible by the general public.
Tripp has designed an experience that utilizes research and science-backed techniques to offer a mental wellness solution that improves mindfulness. It uses targeted frequencies, visual stimulation as well as interaction which together achieve strong results when paired with the immersive technology of virtual reality.
The company is not only seeking an audience in consumer households, available on platforms like PlayStation VR, but their current clinical research seeks to prove the platform as a plausible treatment alternative, and some companies have actually introduced the platform in the workplace as a mental health benefit to their employees.
According to TechCrunch, the startup has closed their Series A funding round with $11 million giving the company a total of $15 million in overall funding. This surge surprises some as the overall amount of investment in virtual reality has steeply decreased over the last five years. Only mega brands like Facebook and Sony have remained relevant in the VR realm and even they have struggled to monetize the technology at the same rates as other technologies.
According to Tripp, “users report a 20-27% mood lift,” and can benefit in overall mental wellness by achieving calm, focus, and resilience in times of stress. While the research is strong for alternative treatment options for those with treatment-resistant or undiagnosed depression, Tripp offers a similar science-backed treatment that is not as off-putting to some as the use of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin or Ketamine.