Starship Animal Checkups & Magical Forrest – RUSH

  • 2019

  • Social Impact

Commissioned By:

ASB Bank

ASB Bank

Designed In:

New Zealand

RUSH worked with ASB and ADHB to deliver two magical interactive experiences for children, parents and staff of Starship Children’s Hospital emergency waiting room. We used Computer Vision and Microsoft Kinect technology to create a magical experience that reduces anxiety, provide comfort and relieve boredom.

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  • Every year 34,000 children come to the Starship children’s emergency department. The assessment area and waiting room is where the patient journey starts for many of these children. Starship & ASB wanted us to help create new ways to enhance the experience for both children, parents and the staff of the emergency department, helping calm children and prepare them for treatment, as well as create a more accommodating space for patient comfort and flow. RUSH and our creative partners designed and developed two enhanced waiting experiences to help calm them and create a more comfortable space.

  • Starship Animal Checkups uses a wall of animal characters to calm and entertain children while taking readings: lions show how to open wide, giraffes how to stand tall, and blowfish how to regulate breathing. At the same time it measures height, tracks smiles, and picks up heart rate and temperature using RUSH proprietary sensors and an interactive computer vision-based tracking system. The Magic Forest uses computer vision to track the speed of user interaction, creating a more rewarding experience if users slow their movements: birds and flowers come towards calm visitors, or are scared off by rapid movement.

  • The initiative stands out as it is a waiting room world first with world class interactive technology, created to calm nervous patients and whānau. Both the checkup wall and the magic forest make heavy use of the time-of-flight depth sensors of the Microsoft Kinect. The magic forest uses this to perform skeletal pose-tracking, which captures the full-body movement of patients in the room, and allows the birds to react to them. The differential of limb position with respect to time allows us to detect the rapid movement, indicating restlessness, and the birds react to this behaviour by flying away.

  • A human-centered design approach was used to empathise, ideate and prototype the experiences to ensure they had a biggest impact on our different audiences. The solution involved behaviour observation, talking to play specialist and nurses, and understanding the different behavioral strategies to reduce anxiety in order to create a calm, fun environment. Our design strategy was shaped and focused on mimicking the qualities of a nurse and giving every parent and child a reason to smile whilst waiting. This project was a melting pot of people, priorities and objectives. We were very considerate of all parties including ASB, ADHB and Starship, so when they engaged RUSH to help ideate and execute the initiative to improve the experience at Starship we also had to consider all of the staff, patients and all stakeholders. With both experiences we continuously prototyped and tested at different fidelities levels to ensure the children and parents firstly, understood what we wanted them to do, but secondly were enjoying and finding them calming and fun.