A therapist tests out new cutting-edge waterproof virtual reality glasses playing a film of dolphins, at the 'S Heeren Loo care center for disabled people in Apeldoorn, on October 31, 2017, eastern Netherlands. AFP / JOHN THYS
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Swimming with wild dolphins is something most can only dream of, and jumping into pools with captive animals has become increasingly controversial with environmentalists condemning it as cruel. But a Dutch non-profit believes it has found a way to bring people, especially the disabled, closer to such a joyful experience through the technological, immersive advances offered by virtual reality.Their first project using normal VR headsets playing a film of the dolphins launched in late 2015 .But last month they went a step further, unveiling waterproof VR glasses, which allow people to drift around a pool watching bottlenose and spinner dolphins playing around them in virtual reality.This VR dolphin therapy in a pool, still at the trial stage, is thought to be a world first.For Sjollema, the VR glasses offer huge advantages. Not only can they bring the dolphins to disabled people, who would not be able to travel to see them, but they also avoid the use of captive dolphins.
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