What are the ground-breaking sensory-reality pods.
To celebrate the launch of Selfridges’ 2022 SUPERSELF theme and the high-end department store’s explorations into the future of feeling good, Selfridges teamed up with sensory reality experts SENSIKS to help store customers enjoy a safe trip. Whether you’re in store experiencing their multisensory pods or trying their hypnotic digital experience, Magic Horizons, online – get ready to immerse yourself in a whole new world…
“In our crowded, over-stimulated world, the idea of having a safe trip to bring us moments of calm and escapism is becoming ever more popular, with everything from CBD products to tech-assisted meditation apps offering new routes to self-care. Challenging the more traditional wellness preconceptions, technology – and more specifically virtual reality – is increasingly being used as a tool to boost mental health.” – Selfridges
Selfridges invited sensory-reality experts SENSIKS to install a sensory-reality pod – equipped with bespoke fragrances, Infrared light, heat, and sound sensors – into each of its stores. Inside the pod, the Cosmic Flow VR experience will take you on a relaxing journey through an otherworldly digital dimension, full of kaleidoscopic forms and crazy colours, with relaxing music and evocative fragrances helping you to drift through this calming universe. Much like a short meditation, it’s an opportunity to focus on your breath, let go of any thoughts and recharge.
THE STORY BEHIND SENSIKS’ SENSORY-REALITY POD with Founder Fred Galstaun
In 2016, Fred Galstaun was relaxing on Scheveningen beach in the Netherlands when he began to wonder why he felt so good. As the sun beamed down and warmed his body, Fred started reflecting upon and fully immersing himself in his coastal surroundings – the sharp, salty ocean air, the soothing sound of crashing waves, and the feeling of the fresh breeze against his skin. This moment was a revelation for the then booking.com marketeer, who was “soul searching” at this point in his life, embarking on meditation retreats across the globe.
“When chilling on the beach that day, I felt really good, really fast, and I realised that it was because I was stimulating all five of my senses at the same time. I was consciously recharging in nature,” says Fred. This revelation, grounded in the power of stimulating all five senses, was the inspiration for SENSIKS and the ground-breaking sensory-reality pods.
“With the help of neuroscientists and government-backed science groups in the Netherlands, we learnt a lot about how the brain works. We found that virtual reality can reset your state of mind by encouraging you to move into a relaxing flow state,” says Fred of his research into the multisensory pods, which are now also being used by the NHS in a brand-new medical innovation centre. SENSIKS also collaborated with the Ministry of Defence to create bespoke experiences to help treat PTSD.
In keeping with SENSIKS’ own future-facing ethos, each pod is made with the planet in mind. The interior is composed of boards made from natural waste materials including hay, sawdust and bamboo that are secured together using a chemical-free bio-based glue. What’s more, each pod is 3-D-printed, so they can be made anywhere in the world without the need for transportation, while their modular design allows single parts – from infrared heaters to fragrance ports – to be swapped in and out to reduce waste.
For the bright orange exclusive-to-Selfridges exterior pod design, the luxury department store teamed up with the inflatables experts at Studio Soufflé. Once the SENSIKS experience is no longer available, these sculptural pieces will be used as changing rooms to give them a second life.