TACTSENZE PROTOTYPE MAY LOOK LIKE THIS
I met recently with Kim Randrup. Kim suffered a massive stroke 13 years ago which paralyzed his left side. He’s been determined and focused on his self-rehabilitation and has now regained most his coordination. It’s all about motivation, he says.
Kim Randrup, chairman, Stockholm Stroke Organisation
Kim tested our Tactdance prototype which sends pre-programmed tactile impulses to the legs. Follow the impulse pattern which is matched to a salsa music beat and you can soon dance the salsa. That’s the idea, but it goes slowly for those who’ve had a stroke. Kim smiles as his legs sway back and forth. Could the Tactdance system become a complement to the usual rehab program for stroke sufferers?
”Of course!” says Kim. ”Physical training is usually very boring. It assumes people are machines. Motivation is the most important key to success. Combining physical training through tactile stimulation in a music and dance program creates an enjoyable experience. I think with this we would become more motivated to continue to train, and to train more often.”
The Stockholm Stroke Organization will soon have a get together where members, all of them stroke sufferers will have a chance to test the Tactdance prototype and give us their comments and suggestions for its further development.
March 21st marks the opening at Swedish Institute’s Sweden House in Washington DC of a one year exhibition with the theme music & technology. Above is the layout for the Tactsenze model which will be on display there. Please come if you’re in DC!
International White Cane Day held each year on the 15th of October celebrates the talents of the visually impaired. Held at Stockholm’s Boulevard Theatre, the sold out event featured blind flutist Wu Jing, aided by Tactsenze, who played with musicians from the Royal Opera Orchestra.
Wu Jing playing with members of the Swedish Royal Opera Orchestra
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Great response as Wu Jing and Ric explain how a musician can make use of Tactsenze technique in a concert setting. This was part of the wonderfully organized Skövde Flute Festival in April 2017.
An International Tactile Exposition for Braille & Graphics for Children and Youth was held April 5-7th in Stockholm. Tactsenze had a stand where we displayed our new tactile communication device. Though we’re in the prototype stage, we’re moving forward toward a product for market. We had a great response, as many visually impaired participants tested our prototype, gasping ”wow”. Beside laughing as they were lightly tickled on their foot by the technique, those who tested the device provided valuable feedback. At the same time a number of textile communication researchers and their institutions came up to establish contact.
Ric demonstrates Tactsenze for a visually impaired participant at the Tactile Fair
Met with Professor Roberto Bresin and Emma Frid at Sweden’s Royal Technical College, (KTH) Interactive communications dept. With the help of KTH we expect to attract a couple of masters thesis students to get behind the Tactsenze project and add some more foundation toward product development.
The Tactsenze project organized a meeting with:
- NKCDB (Swedish National Knowledge Centre for the Deaf-Blind)
- FSDB ( Swedish National Deaf-Blind Association),
- MSM (Swedish Gov’t Agency for Accessible Media),
- SRF (Swedish National Org. for the Visually Impaired),
- SPSM (National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools),
…as well as several visually impaired musicians. These are the authorities on the direction we should go with Tactsenze technique in future. They’re also the future customers of a product we develop. What a brainstorming session! Many ideas came forth and we’ll surely be meeting again to follow up.