We have an exciting spotlight today on SpellBound, an interactive app that allows kids to engage with books in a unique way. I hope some of you were able to meet the reps this past weekend at the Child Life Council Conference in Orlando and had the opportunity to try out this amazing device!
Imagine there’s a five-year-old girl who is scared of needles. She cries and resists anytime you try to give her the treatment she needs. Perhaps, just down the hall is an eight-year-old boy who is stuck in 10 foot by 12 foot hospital room. He’s feeling isolated and bored.
These are the difficult situations that Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) address every day. Despite the importance of this therapist role, rarely are technology tools designed specifically for child life.
SpellBound is reimagining the patient experience by creating technology tools for child life specialists that combine two things already being used: books and mobile devices. The first SpellBound tool is an app that turns print objects, such as paper children’s books, into 3D virtual adventures. Using a mobile phone or tablet, characters leap from the pages, producing sounds and animations that kids get to interact with and explore.
That five-year-old girl doesn’t even notice the poke of the needle when she’s captivated by the “magic” of her book characters coming to life. That eight-year-old boy doesn’t feel so bored or alone now that he’s able to transform his whole room into a scene from his favorite storybook.
The app (and additional tools being developed by SpellBound) serves multiple purposes. It can entertain children and be used as a quick distraction technique. It allows children to engage with the hospital environment and make them feel more comfortable in that way. It can also educate – educate children about their illnesses and treatments as well as with vocabulary and reading in general.
SpellBound is currently being used at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Golisano of Southwest Florida.
To try SpellBound yourself:
- Download the free “SpellBound AR” app in Google or Apple app stores.
- Download a free sample postcard or purchase one of the books the app works with: Sleep Sweet and Albert The Confused Manatee.
- After launching the app, point the phone/tablet camera at the postcard or book to see the scene come to life.
- Explore and interact by touching your finger to the animals and characters on the phone/tablet