By Sean Meyer
Daniel Kharlas has a passion for many things, but his love for two in particular — wellness and virtual reality — are coming together in his latest venture, one that will give people the chance to relax in some very different ways.
Daniel is working towards his master’s degree in the psychology and neuroscience of meditation.
As such, he was also exploring the use of neurotechnology in terms of measuring brain activity and how it could be used in meditation programs.
Back in August 2017, Daniel launched a virtual reality project called VRcadia. For the past year, the two have been working at developing demos and projects around virtual reality meditation.
“We saw the opportunity in virtual reality, that there was going to be a lot of innovations and would change a lot of industries and the way people interact with technology,” he said. “We wanted people to get the full range of virtual reality experiences, from the interactive, multi-player games they can have with their friends, all the way to the wellness experiences where they can interact in a very immersive way — that’s really exciting to me.”
Over time, the two friends began to move their project towards having a physical location. Eventually, by happenstance, they found a location at Richmond and Oxford streets that has allowed them to focus in on many different populations.
There are a lot of young professionals in the downtown, a lot of business owners in the downtown, so a big part of the story was introducing both people and businesses to the technology and the experiences that come with it.
At this point, VRcadia is nearly ready with just the last few “finishing touches” being put in place at the 750 Richmond St. location.
His hope is that “in a couple months, maybe sooner,” they’ll be ready to open the doors.
While building towards the launch of VRcadia, Daniel has immersed himself into the space at Innovation Works, something he is quick to credit with feeding all his various passions.
Flash forward a couple months later, and he contacted Western University about their space at Innovation Works. He got into touch and asked if they were interested in having a student take advantage of their space.
That gave him another foothold into the space, which has since evolved into his becoming a co-tenant all on his own.
That experience has been, “really powerful,” Daniel explains, in a lot of different ways.
Being a co-tenant at Innovation Works provided Daniel with another outlet for teaching meditation, but also put him in position to run the space’s Mindfulness Challenge, while also being instrumental in this year’s Wellness Day activities back in May.
Once VRcadia is up and running, life will become that much busier, but he has no intention of leaving his home at Innovation Works.
In fact, he wants to share a lot of what the space has given to him over the years.
“For me, the next step, now that we have a service, a business, we want to connect with other businesses who have helped us, to give them experiences, to have conversations with people in the space and find out what they think of this technology,” he said. “I want to collaborate with the people within this space. I want to give back to this space, ideally, or at the very least have a conversation.”
For more information, visit http://www.vrcadia.ca.
Want to surround yourself with organizations like VRcadia? Consider joining us at Innovation Works!