Do you have trouble relaxing at any point in the day? Is your mind constantly wandering and you struggle to focus? Do you feel anxious and overwhelmed, not sure what you can do to calm yourself down? You aren’t alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from an anxiety disorder. Understanding mental health and finding ways to cope are some of the toughest battles people face today. Something that can help curb anxiety or at least calm your nerves is meditation. TRIPP is a company at the forefront of using VR technology as a platform for meditation.
Marketed as the “fitness solution for your inner self,” TRIPP is an immersive VR platform that delivers a meditation experience, unlike anything you’ve seen before. You may have tried listening to calming music while meditating. You may have found a soothing voice app with which you close your eyes and breathe deeply. But TRIPP takes you inside a virtual world while walking you through meditation. There are settings for beginners, intermediate, and advanced users. I was able to give it a try and was surprised at the results.
- Daily options for multiple meditation experiences
- Helpful narration
- Stunning visuals
- Immersive experience
- Tons of content to utilize
- Having to keep hardware on can take you out of it a bit
History of TRIPP
The idea to build an immersive world that could help people through meditation came from the mind of co-founder and CEO, Nanea Reeves, who worked in the video game industry prior to founding TRIPP. Reeves, who built a deep connection to meditation in the years leading up to the launch of the company in 2017, wanted to build from something that helped her.
“It was time for me to be CEO and support my own ideas,” said Reeves in an interview with BGR. “I really wanted to look within at what I wanted to build. What I asked was, ‘How do we build something that helps people?’ I wanted to use technology for good. If we provide value and build an experience and are architected to make you feel better, I felt good that business and growth would be a direct result of achieving that.”
The consumer product launched in 2019 with the release of the Oculus Quest. TRIPP created an engine that generates the meditation experience procedurally. For each person, it pulls a bundle of different objects from the server to create the overall product. It generates experiences in real-time and each program has its own framework. The future of the product is taking biometric feedback and adjusting the experience in real-time. This is all being built into, what Reeves calls, the “mindfulness metaverse.”
Giving it a try
I’ve never really tried meditating, so I wasn’t sure how it would work for me. I was given TRIPP loaded onto a Meta Quest device. Once I got the device charged up and adjusted to my preferred settings, I was able to enter the program. You see that is an immersive experience right off the bat, as I was in my office chair and could swivel around on the intro screen. There are multiple options for you to select from with the three main ones being Focus, Calm, or Compose. Daily Focus and Calm TRIPPs are available every day with a new guided meditation and visual landscape. So it’s never going to feel stale because you won’t be looking at the same images over and over each day.
Utilizing TRIPP Focus
The first thing I did was a Daily Focus. It starts off by asking you your mood on a scale of 1 to 10 and also picking adjectives to describe how you’re feeling. The scenery you experience is something out of a fever dream with bright colors and trippy mindscapes. It walks you through box breathing, which consists of breathing in for four seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and then repeating. This is meant to focalize your breathing and calm your heart rate and regulate blood pressure. The TRIPP shows you breathing in and out for a richer experience. I selected more narration, since it was recommended for beginners, and the calming presence with instruction definitely helped the experience.
Once that was finished, you’re lifted to another level, making it feel like you’re advancing to a higher state of consciousness (or just the next level of a video game). Upon reaching that, there was a video game to play. That helped focus my mind and felt like a fun reprieve from the day. All the while, the narration was providing positive words and encouragement, telling me I deserve love. The experience ended by watching a majestic bird fly while images of kittens and babies floated nearby. It was a very pleasing experience. It ended by asking you about your mood and how you’re feeling after the experience, to see if it has changed.
TRIPP meditation for calming
Next, I tried the TRIPP Calm meditation. I opted for the Particle Motion scape which had a lot of moving parts but was mesmerizing. This one talked more about loving kindness as the narrator told me to focus on my breathing but also provided assuring sentiments. The box breathing once again came into play. There were some portions of this segment where there was no talking or much going on around the scape, so I became a little distracted as my mind wandered.
I also composed my own portion. The TRIPP type is either calm- or focus-based. Then you get to pick customize your experience by picking your mindscape and the topic, such as abundance, awareness, challenges, confidence, gratitude, happiness, personal growth, or relationship. The narration is curated to cover those topics. You then pick the amount of time that you want as well. The one I chose was shroomscapes, so I was in a field of mushrooms that were constantly growing. I chose personal growth and it covered acting with compassion, centering in forgiveness, and cultivating empathy. I felt more at ease with this one than I did with the Particle Motion mindscape. The box breathing exercises and calming setting made me feel more at peace.
There are more things to take advantage of in TRIPP too. You’re able to upload your own personal photos to your account. That way, at the end of a TRIPP, your own photos will show up instead of the examples of stock kittens and babies. This can set your mind more at peace, and help make the experience more personal.
If you also don’t want to do a TRIPP experience, there are plenty of other options you have. You can choose an Escape and sit on a beach in Mallorca, a German canola field, with cows on mountain farmland in Bavaria, and other exotic locales. The immersive VR makes you feel like you’re actually there. I also tried the Tibetan singing bowls meditation, which brings you to a beach where a person is playing bowls and making them chime. This soothes and allows you to listen for as long as you want. There are also other meditations that you can find, as there is plenty to explore with a membership. While you can enjoy some of these features on your phone with the mobile app or with AR, which TRIPP has recently been expanding to, you won’t get the same immersive experience.
The future of TRIPP
As virtual reality becomes more accessible and companies look to utilize it more, TRIPP hopes to change the way people think about it. Reeves talked about “reality layering” to be a fully immersive experience and she and her team look to be up to the task of expanding the possibilities of the so-called metaverse.
“I want to build a more inclusive space,” said Reeves. “It should be different than what we do In real life. The metaverse has so many capabilities.”
“We’re so hardwired to want variety. That is the attention we’re dealing with as a team. Thinking about how to use AR so you feel more rewarded for doing something. Thinking ‘I took care of something.’ We like this idea of reality layering to feel fully immersive and seeing how the world looks trippy because you took care of yourself.”
The supported devices for the TRIPP meditation VR experience are the Oculus Quest, Quest 2, Rift, Rift S, HTC VIVE Flow, and PlayStation VR. Subscription plans are $19.99 per year or $4.99 per month. You can download a free demo to try it out before you subscribe. One TRIPP membership can be used for an entire household, as up to four people can use one account.
Using TRIPP for daily meditation can improve your lifestyle and put you in a proper place to face the day. The different options keep it fresh and allow you to enjoy a different experience each day. As long as you are willing to get a VR headset, it is worth it to subscribe to this.
Should I buy a TRIPP subscription?
Yes, especially if you already have a supported device. It can help you feel more relaxed and put you in a good mindset.