Designing Perception: Why is Design Important for Augmented Reality?

The power of augmented reality has become so encompassing that it allows us to perceive our reality in an impossible way. It lets us suspend disbelief, if just for a moment, to be absorbed into an alternate world. With augmented reality tools, we are able to see characters from entirely different worlds right in front of us. But how are we so willing to believe the unbelievable?

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Anna KonsonComment
Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality for Child Life Teams

b As the SpellBound team talks with child life professionals around the country, we're meeting more and more teams who are trying to weigh the advantages of augmented reality (AR) versus virtual reality (VR) for their work. Which of these cutting-edge technologies are the right choice for a child life team?

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Superhero Princess and the Power of Play

She wore a princess gown, but that wasn’t fun enough: she wanted a superhero cape, too. And with the cape, of course, she wanted someone to push her wheelchair around the hospital at high speed, so that she could feel like she was flying! As tired and sick as she was, the playful spirit bubbling out of her was heartwarming and unmistakable.

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Mixed, virtual, augmented: the realities of therapy

There are many names out there for alternate digital realities. With all those names come even more possibilities for using these technologies for therapeutic benefit. But to understand the value of these technologies for therapists, we first need to be clear about what they are.

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3 reasons why augmented reality is an effective therapeutic tool

Augmented reality, as a technology just starting to impact mainstream life, has opened up a lot of possibilities in many industries. For healthcare, BCC insights predicts the NA market for mobile-based augmented reality to be $1.24B by 2020[1] and Goldman Sachs puts the total AR/VR market at $80B by 2025. But these stats don’t give much insight into why AR is better than current practices to serve markets like healthcare. So why is AR so great as a therapeutic tool?

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Christina YorkComment
5 Uses for Augmented Reality in Children's Hospitals

While the Pokemon Go phenomenon may be cooling down, we’ve seen some intriguing follow-on effects of what AR can do for kids in hospital. Pokemon Go got kids, sick and healthy alike, up and walking, tracking down elusive digital experiences. AR, when administered by child life specialists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, can be used in a safe and effective way. Here are the five ways I predict AR will bring the greatest value to patients, their therapists, their families, as well as hospitals.

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Pokémon Go and the Brave New (AR) World

It’s been a strange new world for me since Pokémon Go was launched. As someone rather invested in the augmented reality (AR) world, I was professionally interested. As someone who had nostalgia for the game and TV show, I was personally interested. What I didn’t expect was the attention that Pokémon Go started getting my company, SpellBound. I started receiving calls from the media, asking to talk with an AR expert about Pokémon Go. When I was doing interviews about my business, the topic always came up. When I was pitching my business, I no longer received blank stares when I used the term augmented reality.  Pokémon Go has impacted the world in a lot of ways (economically, socially, health-wise, etc.), but here’s my take on the impact it is having for the AR world in general, and more specifically, for AR startups.

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The first time I ever talked with a child life specialist, it was an accident. 

I was on a start up mission: to ask parents about how technology fits into their family life. It was my 17th customer discovery interview, and her name was Anne. When I had finished with my inquiries, Anne asked me why I was asking these questions. I hadn't told her about SpellBound. I happened to have a book on me and launched the app. I didn't say a word. I just let her play with it for a second. She was silent and then looked up and said, "I think you need to talk to my boss."

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My Happy Place

Last week, I got to visit my happy place and witness a most awe inspiring moment - all because of a very technical meeting we had scheduled for that afternoon. 

Christina and I were gloriously early for a meeting with JJ Bouchard, The Mott Golf Classic Digital Media Manager at The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.  JJ is a certified child life specialist and certified therapeutic recreation therapist. We were there to meet him because JJ is our champion for bringing augmented reality into the hospital as part of a pilot project with SpellBound.

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Where'd SpellBound Even Come From?

When my co-founder Marjie and I headed to Detroit Startup Weekend in November 2014, SpellBound wasn’t a thing yet. We had it in our minds that we’d start a consulting company and Startup Weekend would be an awesome networking opportunity and give us some time to practice pitching -- a good skill to have for consulting, right?

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