August 15, 2016
The Role of Technology: Research Teams Drive International Awareness
Holland Bloorview showcased its research into accessible technologies for children's rehabilitation at this year's Experiential Technology & Neurogaming conference in San Francisco. The annual conference draws exhibitors and attendees from a range of industries including health, wellness, learning, training, sports, and entertainment. PEARL lab game developer Alexander Hodge and graduate research student Ben Kinsella were representing Bloorview Research Institute in the conference exhibition and poster competition.
The conference provided an excellent snapshot of the current state of research at the intersection of neuroscience and technology, and an opportunity to demonstrate Holland Bloorview's vision of creating a world of possibilities for children with disabilities. BRI's PEARL lab demoed their innovative suite of mixed reality interactive video games called “Botley's Bootle Blast”, which have been designed to be a fun and engaging way for kids to supplement their existing treatments in a physical therapy programme. The games leverage the Microsoft Kinect sensor to track player's skeletal movements, and make use of real life objects such as musical instruments to interact with the virtual game environment.
Attracting attention from conference attendees of all ages, this novel approach to rehabilitation through interactive computer play with a strong social aspect through its multiplayer game modes stood out among the approximately 40 exhibitor company booths.
BRI graduate research student Ben Kinsella's work on developing an artificially intelligent Google Glass app for children with ASD was presented to the conference as part of the poster competition. The poster, titled “Evaluating the Usability of a Social Skills Training App for Children with ASD”, won the Best Poster award in a field of 26 entrants. Congratulations, Ben!
*Contributed by PEARL Lab game developer Alexander Hodge.