Mergent has developed a communication device allowing Alzheimer’s patients an alternative way to connect to others. The interactive object translates bare-skin touch into sound, using the sense of touch as an agent for engagement. The object acts as an icebreaker – circumventing the cultural and social barriers embedded with touch and intimacy – by creating a playful and spontaneous environment in which users are open to engage each other and explore the depths of human contact.
The play begins when two or more users make contact with the object and close an electronic circuit by making physical contact with each other. Depending on the way users interact, the developed technology is able to register different types of touch, such as: holding, grabbing, stroking, kneading, tapping and tickling. These variations can be differentiated and subsequently translated into output signals that match the motion and emotional intent of the gesture.
This project was assisted with developmental grants from Stichting Sluyterman van Loo and Stichting Else. In the first quarter of 2015 an extensive market research will be conducted in conjunction with several healthcare facilities in The Netherlands. Mergent has filed a patent application for the technology developed in this project. For more information on this product, visit www.crdlt.com