Familiar Things

At the retirement home Bethania, they strongly believe in keeping elderly people active to postpone the effects of dementia as long as possible. Through sessions with the staff, the elderly are presented with objects that they can relate to their youth and life in general – stimulating the flow of blood to the brain. These sessions help them to keep their identity, dignity and to stay mentally fit for longer. Our idea was to create a portable interactive ‘box’ of memories.

The box is for use in retirement homes where more people can share the tool and discuss the content, or in private homes where caretakers bring it to bedridden elderly.

Design Process
Based on the needs we identified through user observations and interviews, we set out to create a physical object with a user friendly GUI. A prototype of the physical and the virtual object was designed and user tested.

How does it work?
It is a portable simulated touch screen prototype built into a box containing visual media and sound grouped by year from 1910 – 1990. The box is hooked up to a computer operated by a shadow hand giving the user the impression that they are controlling it through a touch screen.