Feeds

Boffins turn to Wii tech for speech-loss therapy

Communicate again, using gestures

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Researchers at London's City University are to try out motion control gaming hardware - Nintendo's Wii Remote, Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move - to see if the technology can help stroke victims cheaply and easily regain the power to communicate.

One of the likely outcomes of a stroke is aphasia, effectively the loss or severe reduction in the ability to use spoken or written language. Aphasia can have other causes too, and treatments include teaching sufferers a rudimentary form of sign language - gestures, basically - to allow them to communicate non-verbally.

For stroke sufferers, many of whom also suffer from a degree of paralysis, this isn't easy, requiring one-on-one therapy, which is expensive.

However, the City University team reckon a computer program linked to a motion control system might make for a cheaper alternative - and one that aphasia sufferers could use in their own home.

"Gesture tracking and recognition technologies are becoming a ubiquitous part of new computing and gaming environments," said Stephanie Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) at City University London. "We will evaluate the suitability of such technologies in aphasia rehabilitation.”

Hence the new research programme, conducted in collaboration with the Stroke Association and backed by £300,000 worth of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Jane Marshall, Professor of Aphasiology at City University London, said: "Computer-based treatments have been shown to improve verbal language skills in previous studies, but this is the first time that gestures will be addressed."

The team said they will develop a prototype rig that will allow users to practise gesturing and receive instant feedback.

According to the Stroke Association, around 150,000 Britons a year suffer from strokes, while some 45,000 new cases of aphasia will be diagnosed. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.