AR app helps people overcome fear of spiders

AR app can now help you overcome your fear of spiders.

In case you have a fear of spiders and all kinds of arachnids, this new app can help you face and eventually defeat it.

As Unilad reveals, researchers from the University of Basel developed a new application called Phobys. Using Augmented Reality, the app helps people with arachnophobia to virtually encounter their fear from the safety of their smartphones.

According to EutekAlert!, arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias in the world. Some sufferers even avoid social occasions outdoors, such as visiting the zoo or traveling, because of their fear of the eight-legged creatures.

Phobys works by using a virtual spider model, allowing users to project the arachnid into the real world. 

Knowing that one of the most effective treatments of arachnophobia is the “expose therapy” method, the scientists working on the app successfully implemented it into their system. Professor Dominique de Quervain, leader of the research team, reported that his colleagues have seen “promising results with this app designed to tackle the fear of spiders,” as per the Journal of Anxiety Disorders.

Credits: University of Basel

Anja Zimmer, the lead author of the study, explains:

“It’s easier for people with a fear of spiders to face a virtual spider than a real one.”

Over the course of two weeks, 66 participants suffering from the phobia in question helped the scientists prove the AR application was, in fact, effective. The University of Basel is clear – the respondents experienced significantly lower levels of fear of real spiders “after completing just a few training units with the app at home.”

Here’s a video showing some of the reactions people with a fear of spiders get when interacting with them: 

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