Forest Friends

This multi-part interactive experience provides a positive distraction for pediatric cancer patients at this medical center. Children can bring their friend—a duck, a bunny, or a frog—into the experience using the NFC chips embedded in their hospital bracelets. While onscreen in the waiting room, the forest friends react to touch, as well as to other friends onscreen. People can also interact with environmental elements, engaging in such activities as changing the petals on a flower, popping caps off mushrooms, and planting and growing new trees. A child’s friend is also available for a game of hide-and-seek in the exam rooms, and appears as a friendly companion in the induction room.

We also incorporated the medical center’s pre-existing tradition. When a child finishes a round of treatment, he or she gets to ring a bell. We connected the bell to vibration sensors and connected it to the rest of the installations so that, when a child rings the bell, a cheerful sunburst happens on all the screens, and any friends currently onscreen have a moment of celebration.

Client: Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Project website
Role: Associate Developer
Selected Technologies: C++, Cinder, nodeJS, Multi-Touch, Beaglebone with vibration sensor

Young patients play with the wall in the waiting room
Patients can interact with their friend as well as play with environmental whimsies, such as mushrooms and flowers