Injuries are inevitable. Each year, 50% of Americans over the age of 18 develop a musculoskeletal injury lasting longer than 3 months. However Only 30% of patients that utilize physical therapy services attend the visits that their insurance company authorises. This is because physical therapy can be demotivating, inefficient, and inconvenient.
We were asked to come up with an autonomous solution to these problems. Due to the rapid advancement of technology, we considered the combination of the necessary and available tools today. The question was how we would use these tools to motivate patients to live a healthier lifestyle both physically and mentally.
Physical Therapy is Disengaging, Inefficient & Inconvenient.
Each year, 50% of people over the age of 18 develop a musculoskeletal injury lasting over 3 months. People aren't recovering from their injuries because they simply abandon treatment.
Spark is made up of two intelligent projectors and an infrared depth sensor. One ultra short throw projector for the wall beneath Spark and one regular environment projector for the floor. The depth sensor cameras on either side of the face scan the users environment and track their movements.
SPATIAL MAPPING & PROJECTION
Through Spark we aim to create an insightful, accessible, and motivational approach to physical therapy that begins in the patient's preferred environment.
Using a combination of two intelligent projectors and two 3D infrared sensor, Spark overlays interactive physical therapy exercises tailored to the user's injury, progress, & preferences. This creates a fully immersive experience, allowing the user to focus on their body and the interactions of every workout.
We needed a way to control Spark. By pairing Spark to your phone, we could make the set up process easier for the user. This included wifi connection, projector calibration and adjustments. Another use for the phone was to make the communication between patient and therapist easier.
By gamifying the Spark experience, we encourage users to participate. We focused on the four parts of the brain being stimulated while you are happy and focused our design decisions off that. We call this method your daily D.O.S.E.
This new measurement to track progress is centered around Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins. We also focused on a way to display Resonant Breathing to encourage users to pay attention to their breaths. In addition we wanted to allow users to visualize their heart beats as it is essential to exercises.
A drug-free stress reducer and mood regulator that increases the brains production of Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins.
Resonant breathing involves rhythmic deep breathing at a specific rate of inhalation and exhalation. As you inhale, your heart rate speeds up, and as you exhale, your heart rate slows down.
Breathing correctly during stretching improves flexibility and increases range of motion by relaxing the muscles on the inhale and exhale.
By breathing and holding the stretch you train your muscles to tolerate a deeper stretch before your stretch reflex kicks in.
The stretch reflex is controlled by nerves to protect muscles from damage of over stimulation but it can be trained to react slower with breathing patterns.
Developing binary 2D interfaces projected simultaneously into a 3D environment, intertwining the principles of motion with animation techniques simulating human movement.
As ideas developed we needed a way to validate them without all the necessary equipment. Photoshop mockups could only take it so far, we needed to understand how the interface on the floor would harmonize with the design projected on the wall. Prototyping tools and testing theories became our method for authentication.
Research and trials finally quantified into physical therapy exercises that were choreographed for the motion capture studio. After calibration with 8 Vicon cameras and 56 infrared markers, these exercises were performed, recorded and rigged to the virtual skeleton of a weighted 3D model. This animated avatar completed the wall interface and allowed us to test the impact of synchronized projection on two surfaces.
Gonzalo Gelso - UX Design
James Simmons - UX Design
Hwanghah Jeong - UX Design
Dipali Bajaj - UX Design
Zhaolin Cai - UX Design
Claire Puginier - Industrial Design, VR Design
Andrew Sibert - Project Management