VRIC ConVRgence 2020

Into the Womb -Born Again- A VR Experience of Being Warmly Swaddled Using “Otonamaki” from Japanese Method

The Movie of Presentation (YouTube)


Some relaxation methods create a sensation of returning to the fetal stage, but often involve large pieces of equipment such as a floating tank. This study develops a portable virtual reality (VR) system that brings users back into the fetal state of relaxation. It explores the effects of being swaddled in a stretchable cloth that simulates the feeling of being in the mother’s womb. The user’s entire body is wrapped in cloth using a Japanese technique called Otonamaki. While being swaddled, participants experience an artistic video and sound representation of the womb. The heart rates and questionnaire answers of swaddled people and those from the control group were compared. Questionnaire results show that being swaddled can reduce subjective tension. Heart rate results show no signs of mental stress caused by swaddling. The future plan is to incorporate this VR setup into medical devices and therapy to relieve tension.


  • Shoko Kimura (JAIST: Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)
  • Ayaka Fujii (The University of Tokyo)
  • Rihito Tsuboi (Meiji University)
  • Kazuki Asakura (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
  • Kenichi Ito (The University of Tokyo)
  • Kazunori Miyata (JAIST: Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)