El Segundo, CA– Cutting edge technology is no longer exclusively for the early adopters and tech-savvy millennials. Apps and devices are being created for entirely new niches that have historically been considered (or not considered at all) laggards in the realm of technology adoption.

When Google Cardboard was announced, it started out as an amusing jab at the virtual reality giant, Oculus Rift. But what it has done is opened entirely new opportunities for immersive environments that even low-income adults can afford.

Anyone remember the iconic View-Master?

These motionless scenes that once captured our attention and imagination for longer than social media does today are getting a 2015 spin. A spin that marks a collaborative effort between Google and Mattel to bring virtual reality to the home. Quite possibly in a direct attempt to recapture the attention of an increasingly distractible population. This intriguing new partnership between hardware and experience companies is a great example of how we can reshape existing technologies into meaningful solutions.

No need to worry, the 2015 View-Master will still feature the classic cardboard disks. But this time they will be used to project 3D content. Content that hopes to immerse and engage younger audiences flawlessly. Children can experience any kind of environment that the “experience reels” allow. Each experience reel establishes a whole new environment and opportunities for learning. An environment that feels more like playing, and less like the classroom.

Mattel highlights that children can do everything from learn the history of Alcatraz, to walk across the Golden Gate bridge all while sitting on the couch at home. Although it has yet to be discussed, the enormous potential for ongoing healthcare education here almost goes without saying. With the right reels, children suffering from chronic illnesses could learn how to effectively manage their condition, or even make a major surgery less intimidating.

Through unique partnerships such as this one, virtual reality appears to be making a meaningful entrance into the home sooner rather than later.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at trends.health)

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.