This user was an 87 years old grandmother who was living with her son. She was considering her options towards living in hospice care. She often used the term ‘burden’, when describing her living situation. She does not want to be a burden to her two sons but she’s afraid that she’ll miss them and her grand kids if she goes away to hospice care. She really enjoys being around them at all times.
“I don’t want to be a burden to my family because I want them to focus on their own families. I just don't want to get in their way."
VR Technology in Hospice Care
Hospice care facilities in the United States currently help cover the cost to use VR technologies in order to help complete a bucket list activity for patients. Darrell Johnson who could no longer walk after suffering from the deadly disease glioblastoma was able to complete his bucket list with his two sons using VR.
“It brought actions in my life that I missed doing with my legs.”
“Google glass offers ubiquitous recording and was outfitted with a camera that the user could activate at any time”
“When users go back to watch the video it gives them the sense of present time when they were taking the video”
Terminally Ill Patients
Up to 70% of terminally ill patients suffer from depression. These Patients often feel anxious and stressed when they are provided with a limited time frame to live.
Brain Computer Interfaces
Include an EEG system. EEG is recorded by electrodes placed on the scalp and digitized by an ADC.
Computer processing extracts features most suitable for identifying the subject's intensions. When intension is classified, a certain command is sent to an external device (e.g., a display).”
After conducting both primary and secondary research, we made an affinity diagram to better understand the emotions of how our users feel once they find out they have to go to a hospice care facility, all the way to coming to terms with knowing that their time is limited. After we created a journey map, we clustered similar emotions and actions together in order to find common themes. Gathering these insights will allow us to focus and target certain emotions when coming up with our solution.
We identified the following themes;
Negative thoughts towards having limited time
Positive thoughts towards leaving behind a legacy and having hope for the future of their families
Looking back at memories
Positive feelings once the patients has accepted their faith
Negative feelings towards being scared of the unknown
Studies have shown that Hospice Care facilities are looking for new and innovative ways to enhance end of life activities. This includes using VR technology to help fulfill wishes and bring back certain memories for the patient.
Though it is still in its early phases of development, BCI technology can be used in the future to extract images and memories from one's mind. This could potentially be used to record and re-create memories.
Based on our research, we found that the most important issues for those in hospice care and/or terminally ill patients are worrying about their families well being once they are gone. Most studies have shown that patients would prefer to spend the majority of the time they have left with family and loved ones
Digital & Physical Exploration
Once the team had picked the concept of exploring how to enhance the story telling experience through the visualization of memories, we had to now develop what the product would actually look like and feel like to the user.
This included exploring whether the user would view their memories via a screen/hand held device or through a projection/hologram.
We also had to determine how the user would be able to record their memories and whether it would be through syncing their social media for more context, through a BCI temple piece, using AI technology or a combination of the three.
AVANA is made up three main components:
Charging port/Base/Projector: This holds the petals in place while they are not in use and charges them simultaneously. The centre of the base also contains the projection device that helps create the visualizations of the memories through a hologram like experience.
Petals: This is a hand-held device that both the story teller and listener will hold as they are either narrating a memory or listening to a memory. The petals contain haptic sensors that change colour, temperature and textures to simulate events/visualizations occurring during the narration of the memory.
BCI Temple Pod: This device would sit on the temple of the narrator as they tell their story. This along with the user's synced social media pages, pictures and videos will help create the visualizations of the memory as the user is telling it in real time.