At the Home Care & Rehabilitation Expo 2010, Panasonic exhibited, a prototype system to support rehabilitation.
This system consists of a one-way, full-body mirror, an LCD monitor, and three sensors. Users experience an interactive program based on their own movements, which are captured by the sensors, while watching themselves and images projected on the mirror.
“The distance sensors on top of the mirror capture the person’s movements in 3D. If you move your hands forward, sensors detect the position of your fingertips, so you can control the user interface. The CCD camera monitors the person actually moving. For example, here, we’re using a program to play a game, by detecting the color red. The foot pressure sensor sheet detects your balance in real time, both front to back and left to right.”
This exhibit includes a training menu actually used for rehabilitation, at the hospital attached to Osaka University’s faculty of medicine.
“Several menus are available. Firstly, here’s one where pictures of a demonstrator are shown. This menu helps you move correctly, by checking your appearance in the mirror while you watch the demo. It also includes a program that shows visually how well you’re balanced.”
“For example, in the early stages of rehabilitation, people might not do very well. But this system can show your performance numerically, while you practice for several months. So we’ve created this program with “making progress visible” as the key idea.”
“We think this system could be used for various other things apart from rehabilitation. For example, in sports clubs, demonstrations of yoga and tai chi could be shown in the mirror, and large groups of people could exercise in front of their own mirror. So this system isn’t limited to healthcare applications.”
The system is currently under development. The commercial version will be more compact, about the size of a full-length mirror, so it’ll be portable. Panasonic also wants to offer software services for the system.
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