Published: 21/06/2018 08:55 - Updated: 19/06/2018 12:30

Travel app aid will help change reality

A LOCAL dad has utilised virtual reality technology to create an app to help make air travel less daunting for people with mental-health challenges.Glyn and his son Gregor.

Glyn Morris’s charity Friendly Access has created software that helps ease the stresses of busy environments, such as airports, for people who can become overwhelmed by noise and crowds.
He said: “The pilot app takes users on a simulative journey through a virtual airport, from check-in to boarding, with control of the variables and crowd environments – which many people are hypersensitive to.
“It enables individuals to familiarise themselves with the airport environment from the safety of their own home.”
Glyn, who lives near Miltonhill, started Friendly Access in 2014 to find ways to help people with disabilities
after experiencing the lack of empathy or understanding they can face when out in public places.
A few years earlier his son Gregor, who is autistic and has other disabilities, had been asked to leave a performance of Broadway’s Wicked because a member of staff deemed the noises he was making too distracting for other patrons.
Mr Morris said: “Having experienced what those living with disabilities encounter first hand within my own family, I was driven to look at ways of making things right.
“Trough virtual reality technology, our team is developing an innovative product, iSenseVR.
“The sequence is to assist in desensitising people with learning difficulties and disabilities to stimulating environments like busy airports, train stations and related education and employment situations.
“We approached the Highlands and Islands Enterprise innovation team back in 2014 to find out how they could support our ambition to create the software for those living with hidden disabilities and mental health conditions across Scotland.
We then worked in partnership with the school of simulation and visualisation (SimVis) at The Glasgow School of Art and Plockton based company Crag3D.
“Continued funding is allowing to us expand our app into other high-intensity environments such as shopping centres or train stations and the support of HIE’s networks and general knowledge will help make this possible.”
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