For the past three years, researchers in Sweden have been experimenting with a stationary bike that takes dementia patients on virtual trips down memory lane. The bike is surrounded by a Google Street View display, allowing the “biker” to pedal down any street. Elder care centers in Northern Europe have been using it to give memory-loss patients the opportunity to return to their old neighborhoods. Remarkably, revisiting familiar locations from the past brings up forgotten memories and allows patients to share stories that their families didn’t even know. It turns out that sometimes, what is lost can be found again.
Can a virtual ride down memory lane help preserve the actual memories of people suffering from dementia? One researcher is using a stationary bike equipped with Google Street View technology to find out. Made for Google’s docuseries ‘Search On’ which tells the stories of people on a quest for better answers and the magic that happens at the intersection of tech and humanity.