philippa thomas

Co Founder & Managing Director , The Wayback

Having run a successful London production company, Thomas Thomas Films for over 20 years, I co-founded The Wayback in 2018 .The Wayback is a 360-degree film series created to help people living with dementia. It is viewable through a simple cardboard Virtual Reality viewer and app, that immerses the viewer in joyful memories from history - in order to help them recall their own. Our first series of films painstakingly recreated the street parties of the 1953 coronation; and our second recreates the World Cup winning summer of 1966 – with support coming from England’s hat-trick hero and Alzheimer’s Society spokesperson, Sir Geoff Hurst himself.Studies show a 27% higher emotional engagement in virtual reality films – as we have already seen first-hand on many occasions. People living with dementia also find our lightweight handheld viewers a much easier way to access the films than other hi- tech hardware on the market. Head of Research & Development at the Alzheimer’s Society, Colin Capper, said: “The team have managed to bring together great film- making and innovative technologies and designed with and for people affected by dementia. The result gives people with dementia control as they take the Wayback in a whole new experience of reminiscence. It’s a joy” The Wayback was born out of a desire to "give back", it is tech for good, and I am proud it is helping so many people living with dementia, their loved ones and their carers. Sometimes the only way forward is to go Wayback.