Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
While they haven’t tried it themselves, Ashkahn and Graham liberally distribute their opinions on the use of VR in float tanks and what they think might be better, using it before, after, or during a float.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Graham: Alright, hello everybody. Graham over here.
Ashkahn: Ashkahn and question. This is an efficient episode.
Graham: You mean you’re Ashkahn and you’re a question.
Ashkahn: No, I just thought I’d fill in the blank. You know the context will provide the rest of the words for people’s brains.
Graham: So today’s question is, “thoughts on VR in float tanks. If we’re not doing in-tank VR, would you suggest a VR session before or after tank?”
Ashkahn: Thoughts on VR and float tank.
Graham: Yeah, I’ve had thoughts. I think it would be really hard.
Ashkahn: I mean people have done it.
Graham: Yeah, it’s just so salty.
Ashkahn: Yeah, I mean that’s all the obvious stuff right, like electronics and salt water.
Graham: Yeah, so you should know that float tanks are really wet and salty and people have trouble even –
Ashkahn: But people have done it. People have gotten in there and managed to not destroy their equipment.
Graham: We think.
Ashkahn: I mean people have actively told us that they’ve done it successfully.
Graham: Yeah, for the first time you know. How long are they gonna be able to run the sessions and their equipment stays active.
Ashkahn: Yeah I mean the main thing I heard about it was that it’s, I mean it’s just a lot to have on your head. You know it’s kind of heavy and a little uncomfortable and especially when you’re kind of lying down like that in place where all other stimuli are removed from your body. I think that to me sounds like it would be pretty noticeable and I don’t know, like what do people do in-
Graham: First of all I’ve never done VR in a float tank.
Ashkahn: No I haven’t either.
Graham: Nor, I guess have I done VR immediately before or after a float tank session but I’ve done VR sessions and I’ve floated a couple of times, so I’m familiar with that.
Ashkahn: It’s interesting to me because the best VR experiences I’ve personally had are ones where your movements are somehow reflected in the virtual reality that you’re seeing. Like you’re in VR but you’re able to do something with your body that it mirrors what you’re seeing in your head set, and so I feel like the float tank, I mean like what would you be doing in VR that would make your body move? So you’re like lying in bed?
Graham: Yeah like lay down rollercoaster. To me it has to be … it would have to be a guided VR tour. Right-
Ashkahn: Like looking in space or-
Graham: As opposed to the ones … I mean I personally think the most effective VR that I’ve done are things where it’s a big space and they’ve kind of mapped that space, like a big warehouse that has boxes or whatever and they’ve kind of mapped a VR world on top of a pre-existing space that you get to wonder through. It feels really satisfying.
Ashkahn: And you can’t really turn your head that much or you’re gonna-
Graham: You have 180 degrees, yeah.
Ashkahn: You’re gonna dip the thing in the float tank.
Graham: Yeah so again it has to be kind of like a guided VR session in my mind. Like it has to be leading you somewhere or you just have a view of something and you want to be experiencing that specifically. Just instead of staring into darkness.
Ashkahn: Or it’s just black. Like where you’re seeing in the VR is darkness and that way you don’t have to do any light proofing in your float center, like you just put the VR glasses on people.
Graham: Yep onto float tank setting. You actually have to record some time inside the float tank to really get that darkness just right.
Ashkahn: Yeah a little flashy bits of light and stuff like that.
Graham: So yeah what about VR before or after a float session. Let’s talk about that.
Ashkahn: I feel like we sound like a bunch of old coots right now. There’s probably someone out there who’s done really cool stuff with VR and we’re like, “I don’t know about that, putting the headset on your head and you hit the salt water.”
Graham: If you’re experienced with actual VR inside the float tank, and you’ve done like a dozen sessions or something like that, let us know what you’re getting out of it. Let us know how these new fangled headsets are working out for you.
Ashkahn: Yeah, I don’t understand these things. It sounds like an immediately appealing idea because you’re like, okay virtual reality in an environment where you’ve removed as much of actual reality off of you as possible, right. They sound like they’d really pair together but just in the VR I’ve done, I don’t know. In my experience it’s not like the setting I would think would lead to the coolest VR experiences I’ve had personally but I don’t know. We probably just are really out of touch, you know that’s what’s going on.
Graham: Anyway, write us if you’ve done it. Let us know how wrong we got it. So I do have opinions though on before and after-
Ashkahn: Alright, let’s hear them.
Graham: So I think that depending on what you’re using VR for that doing it before a float can actually be a really cool experience. This is again speaking from a place of no experience on my part, I’ve not done this.
Ashkahn: That’s most of our podcast episodes.
Graham: But there is a pretty large body of evidence out there for float tanks that material you absorb right, before going into a float tank, or activities that you do even just taking time to visualize things inside a float tank for yourself. You know taking a basketball shot or whatever, can have an impact on your skills outside of the float tank and definitely on your float and the content of it.
Ashkahn: Sure, you know I hadn’t really thought about that in the context of in the float tank too. Like just thinking about it in terms of a way of watching media of some sorts because there’s those old things about watching yourself, watching something in a float tank and visualizing yourself doing it and you have neurons going and something. So you could do like a really point of view, like doing basketball free throws or something like that while you’re in there and just really imagine yourself doing it.
Graham: Preferably it would be someone laying on bed doing basketball free throws, so it mimics your kind of a horizontal situation you know. But you know, could be useful outside the float tank too I think, but yeah doing kind of anything beforehand I think can really affect what you get out of a float just because that’s what’s on your mind, that’s what you’ve just done.
So to me especially as a educational kind of tool, I think VR before going in a float tank just kind of sets your brain in that space.
Ashkahn: Or just for relaxation. You know there’s a lot of different methods of people doing things to kind of chill out before you get into a float and sink into it a little bit easier and I’m sure there’s like very meditative VR experiences and things like that out there.
Graham: Yeah and then I mean even going on like a like being out where there’s colors at all, it’s exciting after being in a float tank. I just think VR afterwards also sounds just kind of, I mean all of a sudden you’re like you have senses of a completely different world. It sounds just like a cool experience but that’s not unique to VR. That’s just floating making other things cool.
Ashkahn: It sounds like an especially cool thing to do after you float. My prize goes to that one of before, during after, I feel like I would have the most fun floating and then like going into VR directly afterwards.
Graham: So there you have it.
Ashkahn: Those are our thoughts.
Graham: Uncensored, unedited thoughts on VR in floating and-
Ashkahn: If we catch you on our lawn again, we’re-
Graham: You darn youngins. Alright if you got your own questions about stuff that we don’t know, go down to floattanksolutions.com/podcast.
Ashkahn: Type them in with your little fingers.
Graham: Your young little fingers and we’ll answer them here in the studio with our geriatric walkers.
Ashkahn: Okay, talk to you guys later.
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