( VR )


2023 MIT RealityHack Project


We envision VR to be an essential tool in developing mental health therapy sessions in the future. Therefore, we developed ILLIE, a VR mental health app that facilitates introspection through encouraging third-person self-talk ——the practice of referring to oneself in third-person pronouns.

In ILLE VR therapy sessions, participants will be situated in a calming environment called the Oasis. The whole experience is designed in two parts. Participants start by answering first-person prompts about themselves through grabbing, talking to, and releasing bubbles. Then, participants are faced with a blurry avatar representing themselves. They adopt the position of a therapist and describe the feelings of the avatar in third-person.

Future developments for ILLE will incorporate EEG sensors that record the participant’s real-time brainwave data associated with emotional distress and cognitive control. The data serves as a valuable source for therapists planning for follow-up sessions and conducting mental health research. ILLE will also adopt AI-driven prompts for contextualized responses, as well as participant speech data for more holistic understandings of neurodiversity.