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A Brief Introduction to How the Primesense Camera will Revolutionize Virtual Rehabilitation

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Uploaded on Dec 11, 2010

This intro video discusses the use of the Primesense "depth-sensing" camera for creating applications for motor rehabilitation. Following a stroke, brain injury or other form of neurological disorder, a person can naturally interact with game content as part of their physical therapy. The vision is that patients will be more motivated to do therapy when it is embedded in a game context. This camera (which has been licensed by Microsoft for the Xbox Kinect) can capture users' natural full body movement in 3D space for interaction within game activities without using markers, LEDs or wires. We believe that such low cost sensing systems for tracking human movement will revolutionize how motor rehabilitation will be done in the future. The system does not require the user to hold an encumbering interface device or move on a pad as the source of interaction within the game. Instead, the users body is the game controller operating in 3D space and multiple users can be tracked in this fashion for both cooperative and competitive interactive activities. Our group at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (Mixed Reality Lab and the Motor Rehabilitation Lab) is currently testing this camera system and building software around its functionality to promote the creation of home-based rehabilitation and exergame applications. And, we have thus far integrated the Primesense movement tracking system with custom-built rehab games and associated software that allows it to drive any PC-based computer game by emulating standard mouse and keyboard commands, all based on the designated physical activity of the user. This will provide a new dimension for interactive rehabilitation and exergaming in many ways by opening up a multitude of existing game content for full body interaction. Although the Primesense camera is not publicly available at the time of this writing, we have access to the system and have set up an open source software development group to create software tools that we expect will motivate and support the creative development of new rehabilitation/exergame content and strategies with our group and our collaborators. This will likely promote healthcare research and application development using this system that can be widely disseminated at a low cost in user's homes. This work is being conducted at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies and is part of our NIDRR-supported Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) that focuses on optimizing participation through technology. This RERC aims to address the rehabilitation needs of those aging with a disability through the use of innovative Virtual Reality and game-based systems. Key investigators on this work include Belinda Lange and Skip Rizzo in partnership with Evan Suma, Mark Bolas, Brad Newman and Kevin Chang. Carolee Winstein and Phil Requejo are the USC RERC Directors and more information on this RERC can be found at: http://www.isi.edu/research/rerc/

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