3D Gesture Recognition Technology Simplifies the Exergaming Experience for Senior Citizens
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Dec. 18, 2008
Softkinetic S.A., the leading 3D gesture recognition software provider, and the Dutch company SilverFit today announced the unique Silverfit game system, specifically targeted at adults ages 65 and up.
The Silverfit system and its games were developed in close collaboration with Dutch physiotherapists and were designed specifically to include a broad range of exercises that are recommended as physical therapy after a stroke or an accident, as well as games that provide general fitness benefits. The Silverfit systems are currently being installed in retirement communities and care centers across the Netherlands followed by expansion to the rest of Europe and North America.
Exercising is key to the health of seniors as it reduces the risk of contracting chronic diseases. A recent International Sports Science Association (ISSA) study pointed out the health benefits that exergaming can provide by immersing players in exercise as part of the overall game experience.
By using Silverfit the aging population can exercise with computer games that are specifically developed for them and that take into account any physical limitations. The Softkinetic 3D gesture recognition technology combined with a 3D depth-sensing camera make the experience intuitive. The first installation of Silverfit systems, at the Groenhuysen care center in the Netherlands, provided unexpected benefits; the system created a social atmosphere where seniors enjoyed encouraging each other to play the games and also offered friendly competition amongst users to achieve the highest scores.
Joris Wiersinga, co-founder of SilverFit explains,“Most fitness videogames are developed for the younger generation, typically on videogame consoles like the Wii, but for seniors these games are too busy or too aggressive. In our games the player can pick virtual pieces of a puzzle at their own pace simply by standing up from their chair or leaning to the sides. By using Softkinetic’s 3D gesture technology players do not need to hold anything or know anything about computers. They simply play the games by moving in front of the camera. We chose Softkinetic as a partner because they are the leading provider of software for gesture recognition. Their Software Development Kit offers a rich set of tools that our developers can utilize to create natural interfaces and the software platform supports all the 3D cameras on the market.”
Partnering with SilverFit extends Softkinetic's presence in the field of games and fitness. In the past year Softkinetic has worked with iTech Fitness to bring an active gaming application to the market, EA Sports on a basketball advergame, and Sprint/Wireless Ronin on a football advergame.
“Gaming specifically for the aging population is a growing industry,” said Michel Tombroff, CEO, Softkinetic.“SilverFit is another exciting exergaming venture for us and we are proud to be involved in a project which can improve the lives of senior citizens.”
Softkinetic is the leading provider of natural interfaces that transform the way people interact with the digital world. Softkinetic enables a fully immersive, transparent and intuitive user experience by providing a 3D real-time gesture recognition middleware to interactive digital entertainment, consumer electronics, and health care and serious games companies. Softkinetic, iisu, and Interface Is You are trademarks or registered trademarks of Softkinetic S.A. For more information on Softkinetic please visit http://www.softkinetic.net
SilverFit was founded by two young Dutch entrepreneurs. SilverFit aims to improve the health and quality of life of an aging population through innovative technical products.
SilverFit develops its games in close cooperation with revalidation centers, organizations for elderly care, and scientific researchers in the Netherlands. The first Silverfit system is available for sale to health professionals and specialized fitness centers as of January, 2009. For information on SilverFit, visit www.silverfit.nl or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Steinberg, TriplePoint for Softkinetic