We considered the widely-reported link between ageing cognitive decline and took note of seniors groups’ preferences for cognitive games. We considered the widely-reported link between ageing and cognitive decline and took note of seniors groups’ preferences for cognitive games (see link).

What it does

Dendrii is a free-to-download desktop app catered towards senior users that bridges virtual pet companionship with research-driven brain health training. The app functions within a user-pet system where the user is responsible for their personal pet neuron and is prompted to earn Dendrii’s currency - myelins - and engage with a daily to-do list of the app’s features.

How we built it

Dendrii uses Java and Python languages and incorporates Java Swing, Python Tkinter, Pygame, and Creytr libraries.

Challenges we ran into

Something that was challenging was getting Python and Java's different libraries to seamlessly integrate. For example, a challenge we had to overcome was calling a Pygame program from a Python program that used Tkinter.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

For some of us, it was the first time we worked with specific libraries (ex. Pygame). While it was time-consuming reading many StackOverflow posts, we managed to get our portion of work to function properly.

What we learned

Not only did we learn how to work collaboratively in a relatively large team, we also learned how to communicate our progress on a multi-part coding project. We also learned that it is difficult to incorporate Python code into a primary Java interface; hence, prior research should be done next time.

We also did extensive research on the PLAY category of our app. It branches off into subcategories with games that target the user’s cognition, memory, and reflex, which are grounded in cognitive gaming research link, card matching’s positive effect on memory link, and the cognitive success of speeded processing games link, respectively.

What's next for Dendrii

Our team at Dendrii looks to collaborating with external organizations such as BC Brain Wellness and Alzheimer’s Society in bringing more traffic and updates into this version of the app. We look forward to expanding on the cognition games in the PLAY category as well as secure grants to continue building tools to support our seniors’ brain health journeys.

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