The EXGAVINE Project
In an interdisciplinary consortium combining expertise in human-computer interaction, tracking in medical context, game design and software development as well as wearables, we work together with domain experts and clinical partners to create innovative therapy methods using immersive VR technology. Following a user-centered design approach, we will conduct multiple studies and focus-group interviews with each iteration of generated prototypes.
Tracking and Sensor Technologies
Some patients with neurological diseases have significant limitations in their ability to move. Hence, it is important to track larger but also very small motions, so-called micro motions. To improve tracking of micro and macro motions, innovative wearables that are designed for usage in a nursing home environment will be developed in the scope of this project. Therefore, we will make use of inertial measurement units (IMUs) and vibrotactile feedback, which can also provide information about incorrect motions of the patients. During the project, we will evaluate our sensors in a state-of-the-art living lab to ensure safe applicability for the patients before using the technology in the clinical context. To summarize, our project advances the field of VR exergames by combining the following contributions:
- efficient multi-user tracking and analysis of fellow players and spectators in a therapeutic play session,
- sensor fusion from different sources to evaluate combinations that result in the most stable and informative data sets for further analysis by clinicians,
- camera-based solutions working in synergy with wearables to improve data confidence, and
- design that feels cozy and fits in a nursing home's common space without deteriorating the atmosphere.
The EXGAVINE project will primarily create games for the three game genres targeting, racing, and puzzle. All three types will require motor-cognitive performance by the patients, but each game has a different main focus:
- In the targeting game, the focus is on hand-eye coordination when the users aim for the goal; those aspects are particularly important in stroke rehabilitation.
- Racing games will motivate patients to improve gait and walking performance, which has potential to reduce the falling hazard.
- The puzzle game will focus on navigational tasks with known landmarks to train brain areas (hippocampus) that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on the users’ performance, behavior and cognitive abilities, individualized scaffolding methods will be applied to create personal difficulty curves for improved training and game flow.
We create a coherent overall concept of the gaming system via analysis criteria of the Octalysis Gamification Framework. This system is based on a bidirectional controlling scheme where players not only control the game, but the latter also continuously adjusts to the users’ current abilities, source of motivation and training requirements.