Approach and Solution
We were forced to work in limited timeframes for this project, and the requirements and guidelines were quite strict. Thus, the development process was accelerated and quite intense. As the first order of business, we had to research hand rehabilitation and how range of motion improvement takes place. We were provided with the basic movements and learning materials, but still had to adapt them to an immersive scenario.
Much of the development time went towards establishing top-notch motion tracking in the hand and wrist. Since progress in the app is achieved with small (sometimes miniscule) movements of the hand and changing angles, we had to make sure these movements were registered properly and the data was not rounded up or down too drastically.
This tracking system had to take into account which position the hand is in at rest and how it is when all fingers are extended, to serve as a contrast for targeted movements. Getting this system to work accurately required a lot of physical testing with a VR glove, and our research and guidelines about patients with limited hand mobility also came in handy.
In addition to the motion tracking system, we added 3D models, animation, sound, and VFX to provide a fully immersive experience that mirrors real-life rehabilitation. As a result, any user that puts on a glove and engages the VR hardware & software finds himself in a simulation where he tries to repeat the movements made by a virtual trainer (Andy) while the instructions also appear in text.
The movements results are displayed on the screen and completing an objective allows the user to move on to the next stage. Rehabilitation is never a fast process, so the app was built to be used many times over the course of weeks and months.
- This project was completed at a record pace in very short timeframes, despite only one developer working on it.
- A state-of-the-art tracking system was built, monitoring even the smallest movements and offering positive reinforcement in the long process of healing.
- We built a high-quality, intuitive interface that is easy to use even for those who have no prior experience with VR, such as elderly patients.
- The completed scenario successfully replicates real-life rehabilitation techniques, with a virtual trainer offering guidance.
- Such a remote-focused solution can eliminate or reduce the need of rehab patients to visit medical centers regularly.