Improving the Wii for hemiplegics

One of the most useful aspects of the Wii board for us is the ability to measure balance, how you’re distributing your weight.  If you’re placing your weight too much on one side this provides excellent onscreen feedback, useful to a hemiplegic who will tend to favour one side excessively. As far as I can see, there’s no way to call up this feature at will. It kicks in as part of the ‘Body Test’ feedback and lasts for a few seconds.  Ideally, this should be a separate feature, a mini game on its own, allowing the user to focus on the feeling of being in balance for longer.  This allows for deeper learning.

The balance tool is also useful when doing a downward-facing dog pose in yoga, where the weight should be distributed evenly between arms and legs.  But it’s impossible to look at the screen when in the position. There is some aural feedback, a small ‘bing’ when you hit the spot,  but not enough to allow you to feel how near or far you are from being correctly posed. A possible solution would be a gentle rising and falling tone to allow the user to understand when they’re getting closer and further away from it. A nice rising and falling ‘om’ might help.

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