PTWare was inspired by the growing popularity of virtual reality exposure therapy as a tool to help victims of PTSD. We wanted to create an app that could collect data (like range of motion) that could not normally be measured quantitatively in a physical therapy session while creating a fun set of mini-games that fosters recovery for people affected by cerebral palsy or stroke.
What it does
PTWare offers a variety of fun physical mini-games while also recording commonly used physical therapy metrics such as range of motion and reaction time. Because VR has the capabilities to track the position of the controller the user uses, we are able to collect and map different aspects of their abilities normally unavailable in traditional physical therapy settings. After playing a mini-game, the user's motion data is recorded and shown to them while also being compared to how they have performed on games in the past week/month. We encourage the user to make daily progress through a streak system that offers different in-game rewards, and offer a system that monitors their rank in different physical areas which can be used to unlock new games. While PTWare is targeted towards physical therapy patients, the range of mental/physical brain games it includes appeals to all audiences and allows for users to compete with each other on a global leaderboard.
How we built it
PTWare is built in Unity for use on any VR system. We currently implement the Oculus Quest Touch controllers.
Challenges we ran into
Recording the movement of two controllers in 3D space in a way that's presentable and can easily show progress was one of our most difficult challenges. It is not completely obvious how one would quantify or easily display the range of motion that a player experienced over the course of a game, and our algorithm could certainly be improved to be more visually clear.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of the dog-petting mini-game that we were able to create, which acts as an entry-level mini-game for those with a much more limited range of motion. The game clearly illustrates the huge potential for VR in the physical therapy space and just how far our app could go over a long period of development, especially with the inclusion of different never-before-seen game ideas.
What we learned
Our team had limited prior experience with Unity, especially when it comes to VR. We learned a lot about creating different scenes/objects in Unity, tracking controllers with Oculus' API, and recording analytics in a presentable way for the user.
What's next for PTWare
Future advancements in hand-tracking technology for the Oculus Quest would no longer require the user to hold Touch controllers while playing, allowing for a more welcoming experience to those who may not be able to grasp a controller as easily. We hope to implement this technology to make our game more inclusive to all physical-therapy patients. Additionally, we would create more mini-games that we did not have time for over the course of the hackathon and support submissions for user-developed games that align with those already offered.
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