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The idea

Excedrin wanted to express the true pain of migraine by enabling others to see through a sufferer’s eyes. How? By custom-building the world’s first migraine simulator. A painful premise, yes. But also a fascinating technological challenge – and one we enjoyed turning our brains to.

The canvas

Thumping headache, disorientation, floating spots, sensitivity to sound and light. The challenge was to bring symptoms such as these to life via a groundbreaking, custom-built virtual reality headset. .

The physics

We built a prototype using 3D printed mounts and secured two wide angled web-cameras to the front of the headset. We then streamed a real-time video feed into the software, programmed to overlay personalised migraine symptoms onto the screen using the virtual reality platform Oculus Rift – while still allowing users to interact with the real world.

The experience

This project was all about enabling one person to walk in another person’s shoes, about increasing human empathy, while making a thrilling, immersive virtual experience available to all. Users said it greatly increased their understanding of migraine, while migraine sufferers said the video made them much more likely to recommend Excedrin to others.

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