ARET: Augmented Reality Exposure Therapy to help fight AUD (RECOVRY 3.0).

Project: Research

Project Details


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a major problem. In the USA alone there are 15 million people with an AUD and more than 950,000 Dutch people drink excessively. Worldwide, 3-8% of all deaths and 5% of all illnesses and injuries are attributable to AUD. Care faces challenges. For example, more than half of AUD patients relapse within a year of treatment. A solution for this is the use of Cue-Exposure-Therapy (CET). Clients are exposed to triggers through objects, people and environments that arouse craving. Virtual Reality (VRET) is used to experience these triggers in a realistic, safe, and personalized way. In this way, coping skills are trained to counteract alcohol cravings. The effectiveness of VRET has been (clinically) proven. However, the advent of AR technologies raises the question of exploring possibilities of Augmented-Reality-Exposure-Therapy (ARET). ARET enjoys the same benefits as VRET (such as a realistic safe experience). But because AR integrates virtual components into the real environment, with the body visible, it presumably evokes a different type of experience. This may increase the ecological validity of CET in treatment. In addition, ARET is cheaper to develop (fewer virtual elements) and clients/clinics have easier access to AR (via smartphone/tablet). In addition, new AR glasses are being developed, which solve disadvantages such as a smartphone screen that is too small. Despite the demand from practitioners, ARET has never been developed and researched around addiction. In this project, the first ARET prototype is developed around AUD in the treatment of alcohol addiction. The prototype is being developed based on Volumetric-Captured-Digital-Humans and made accessible for AR glasses, tablets and smartphones. The prototype will be based on RECOVRY, a VRET around AUD developed by the consortium. A prototype test among (ex)AUD clients will provide insight into needs and points for improvement from patient and care provider and into the effect of ARET compared to VRET.

Effective start/end date1/10/2231/10/24




  • Augmented Reality
  • addiction
  • health
  • Virtual Humans
  • Volumetric Video
  • AUD (Alcohol Usage Disorder)
  • therapy


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