Dot2Dot Communications Selects Scalable Display Technologies for Immersive Virtual Reality Solution for Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities interfering with daily life. The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s is difficulty remembering newly learned information. Alzheimer’s leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, behavior changes, confusion about events, time and place, more severe memory loss and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking. There is currently no effective medical treatment to modify the progression of existing Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Immersive virtual reality presents new possibilities for healthcare applications, specifically memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. It creates the perception of a real-world environment by surrounding the user in memorable content, gathering images, sounds and other stimulation, and distributing the content using technology to engage the patient in the created environment. Healthcare professionals can immerse their patients in simulated environments to invoke exposure to a specific experience and target emotional responses.
Dot2Dot Communications, a full-service visual communications company, is integrating immersive virtual reality environments in healthcare applications to support patients living with Alzheimer’s. The Toronto-based agency designs, develops and manages immersive digital signage experiences.
“The project evolved from the concept of providing visual therapy to patients who have Alzheimer’s,” explained Shawn O’Brien, Creative Technology for Dot2Dot Communications. “A colleague was working on a project utilizing virtual reality (VR) technology for visual therapies. Therapy is delivered for individuals with Alzheimer’s by showing familiar individuals, places and experiences. WishPlay is curating the content for these applications. The real magic is in their content creation specific to the patient.”
O’Brien added, “Previously, the healthcare facilities were utilizing VR headsets to deliver the content to the patients. The headsets required a cloth application to provide comfort to the patient. The healthcare provider had to disinfect the device between each patient to eliminate the spread of any illness. This became increasingly challenging during COVID-19 restrictions. Additionally, the devices were large and unwieldy for the patient. The concept of VR was fantastic, but it created a few challenges specific to the healthcare environment.”
Dot2Dot Communications created a solution that would simulate the same experience – without headsets. “We designed an environment dedicated to the purpose of immersive virtual reality for Alzheimer’s patients,” said O’Brien. “The permanent space enabled us to acoustically treat the space and integrate a permanent display solution. We evaluated a few different display technologies. We considered direct view LED, LCD, front projection and rear projection. Ultimately, we selected front projection because of the subtle video display. It was softer for patient interaction in this specific environment. Additionally, front projection allowed us to build larger displays.”
Dot2Dot Communications selected Scalable Display Technologies to automatically warp and blend multiple projectors across the 20-foot projection to create a single seamless display. Founded in 2004, Scalable is the original inventor and patent holder of camera-based automatic warp and blend technology. Ideal for virtually any application, Scalable’s software works on flat, curved domes and custom screen shapes.
“Scalable’s technology is incredible because of the user experience,” noted O’Brien. “You don’t have to be a professional projectionist to utilize their software. Their optical sensors and cameras provide intricate details into the projector’s throw. Scalable automatically calibrates the projectors based on the details gathered. Scalable is easy to use but provides a high-quality edge-blending and warping solution. Scalable’s software created a seamless solution that delivered video across a peripheral 180-space projection screen.”
O’Brien added, “Scalable’s technology is very relevant with the growing interest in virtual studios and immersive reality. Digital projection technology has become very popular because it provides a more theatrical dynamic. Additionally, the cost of ownership for projectors has evolved over the last two decades. There’s an appetite for more commercial applications because the cost of ownership is certainly more feasible than it was in the early 2000s. Scalable’s technology provides more flexibility and a simplified user experience for large-scale projection applications that typically would have taken days to calibrate.”
Scalable produces groundbreaking software that automatically calibrates images’ color, intensity and geometry from multiple projectors, resulting in a single, seamless digital display. With Scalable, there are no limits to the display size or resolution, and images can be created using software tools.