Virtual reality doesn't work for everyone. Some people have a hard time and although simulation sickness isn't common, it can happen, Andrea Stevenson Won cautioned.
Augmented reality, where your surroundings get overlaid with holographic images, could come to the rescue.
"You're not placing this huge heavy thing over your eyes and that's all you're seeing," Levac said. "You're still present with the real world." Last summer we saw augmented reality in 2-D with Pokémon Go, but new wearable devices like Microsoft's forthcoming HoloLens and a display from the secretive startup Magic Leap promise to do the same in 3-D.
Levac said that augmented reality for rehab is still in the beginning stages, but pictures a proliferation of downloadable game apps. "I can really see that capitalizing on the motivating, engaging gaming aspect of VR but being more accessible and less intimidating," she said.
"The good and bad of virtual reality is that it's fun," Stevenson Won said. "More people want to try it and we can leverage that fun for therapeutic purposes, but you want to figure out what the effects are."