LONDON, ONT. -- Taking a trip to the beach isn’t always easy for clients at the Alzheimer’s Society, but now doing just that can happen without even having to travel.

“What we do is empower them with a new tool that’s up and coming and maybe not understood to new users, but we make it easy,” says Ben Switzer of EXAR Studios.

Switzer heads a project called EXAR Wellness, an initiative through EXAR Studios in London that is using virtual reality to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

“We have a framework by which we use scientific inquiry and understanding to develop experiences for them,” says Switzer. “At the same time we are providing experiences that exist that we know are healthy to caregivers and making it a tool to make their lives easier.”

Staff from EXAR work with various organizations across the city to bring the wellness project to life along with other virtual reality (VR) projects.

One of the most recent projects is called the Joshua Tree, which brings a 3D recreation of the iconic tree to life.

“We can take this site, 3D scan it so now we have it like it looked in this moment in time,” says Edwardo Platero of EXAR Studios. “Also, now we can open this up to fans across the world that may not be able to make this journey to visit this iconic location.”

The team took 4,000 individual photos of the site to create the real-life 3D experience

“The process is, you just walk around and take a whole bunch of photos in a sequence,” says Platero. “Then we throw that into a piece of software and it will reconstruct it into a 3D model. Finally, we hand it to our team and they clean it up.”

The EXAR team consists of 14 people and continues to grow. The goal is to keep expanding and bringing high-tech 3D and VR experiences to the community and put London on the VR map.