By Anthony L. Brooks
Computer Generated Interactive spaces have been used for many years in art to give a specific experience to audiences, e.g. in Museums for Modern Art installations; Performance; and more. Such interactions are designed for single or multiple participants and typically without any sensors being worn.
Relating to intervention within rehabilitation such spaces give opportunity for mapping of an individual’s interaction data to digital media content. The individual controls experiences with the content selected according to preferences, profile, and therapist outcome goal of progress (micro-development). Simultaneously the data offers quantitative information of the interactions. This data signifies the individual’s exploration of the space as well as responses to their own input. Thus, primary feedback (human movement/ performance) causally aligns with secondary feedback (mapped digital media).
Plasticity in this context relates to change, i.e. how digital media is increasingly flexible and receptive to change and how such a change can affect a human change through traditional or alternative sensory channeling in order to change experiences and relationship to what is interacted with where ability micro-development is targeted.
Increased uses of worn biofeedback systems, especially with dry sensors that require minimal setting up, are being seen. Such systems enable even those with profound disability to participate. Open (non-proprietary) systems are becoming available to enable increased opportunities for intervention. Increased access to play digital games is possible through a new range of commercial peripherals or bespoke apparatus. These are usually referred to as Natural User Interfaces (NUI) and Perceptual Controllers. Computer Vision and sensor technology advancements have largely been responsible for this empowerment. As healthcare practitioners such as physical therapists adopt games, there is a limitation through the innate fixed structure trees. To complement such a fixed environment, abstract interactive environments that empower user-tailored creative expression are also available to be used in rehabilitation to offer increased opportunities of adaption. Thus, the digital content can be direct manipulation of auditory, visual or other stimuli to enable more specific tailoring to match participant preferences for interaction.
Through such systems quantifiable data of interaction (primary and secondary) can be matched to qualitative data observed and otherwise gained from the designed interactions and planned-for responses.
Whilst a designer exploring digital media plasticity aligned to exploit human performance plasticity and its complexities is challenged through the need of transdisciplinary experiences and creative “out of the box” thinking, it is especially challenging for the therapist/facilitator/carer who is the catalyst of the ‘in-action’ change-based intervention. Thus, actions are needed to provide specific training of such ICT towards addressing citizen-centric competences across future demographic societal changes and predicted service industry shortcomings in order to fully advance this perspective of healthcare, wellness and quality of life.
In line with the above a dedicated consultancy, expert assessment, and residential training retreat has been established as a European SME titled “SoundScapes” – contact below.
Anthony L Brooks, Ph.D. Department of Media Technology Aalborg University Denmark firstname.lastname@example.org
President of Virtual Reality Medical Institute (VRMI) in Brussels, Belgium. Executive VP Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), based in San Diego and Los Angeles, California. CEO of Interactive Media Institute a 501c3 non-profit Clinical Instructor in Department of Psychiatry at UCSD Founder of CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy, & Social Networking Conference Visiting Professor at Catholic University Milan.