There are millions of people globally with quadriplegic paralysis, neurodegenerative diseases, and amputations who would benefit from the creative and therapeutic experience of making art but physically cannot. Cardboard Artboard solves this problem by providing an intuitive virtual reality interface for creating art with the motion of your head. The app creates an immersive and inclusive safe space for creativity and also allows users to share their masterpieces with a community of fellow creators.
Art therapy is the process of improving psychological, emotional, and social outcomes through visual expression. Alain de Botton's 2013 book, "Art as Therapy", shows that visual experiences have profound therapeutic benefits including reduced depression, increased relaxation, improved self-esteem, stronger interpersonal communication, and better quality of life. Art therapy is a powerful therapy for people like Steve "Pi" Piscatelli and Jenna Bass. Steve. who suffered from physical injuries and PTSD following his service in the Vietnam War, says "Art saved my life.” Jenna, a local artist, addressed her eating disorders through watercolor. Our app is also an ideal platform for people with limited upper body mobility, as users can completely control the app solely using head motion.
VR and Google Cardboard
Every day, virtual reality becomes more feasible, yet potential applications are limited by hardware costs and gimmicky experiences. Google Cardboard significantly lowers the barrier to entry to VR and enables the widespread proliferation of visually immersive and beautiful technologies. However, Cardboard applications until now has been focused on static simulations. By contrast, our app, Cardboard Artboard, follows a different paradigm: it enables users to improve their lives and shape their own experiences.
- iControl: completely hands-free eye control functionality and navigation
- Wide range of artistic capabilities: comprehensive color palette, five adjustable brush sizes, and clear canvas button
- Import: view pieces from other creators
- Export: share your work with the broader community
- One-finger magnet toggling, built into Cardboard
Technologies and Tools Used
- Google Cardboard SDK
- Android SDK
- Unity 3D Game Engine
- REST API
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
Yoni, Veronica, Ben, and Nancy met each other through Hack4Impact, a new student group at Penn that builds web applications for nonprofits in need of high-tech solutions. We love working on socially impactful projects, learning new frameworks and technologies, and making witty puns.