2019 by Paddy Beirne.

About the project

The Memory Cabinet is a concept in the works that has resulted from a multidisciplinary effort and a partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and Grenoside Grange Hospital to help bring relief to Alzheimer’s patients. 

 

The core idea was to allow patients to maintain connections to family, loved ones and (most importantly) themselves while the effects of the disease inevitably eats away at their memory and cognitive ability.  

 

The way this was achieved was through a simple and gesture and motion capture controlled interface that would marry proven multisensory therapy techniques like Snoezelen with social networking – allowing patients to effortlessly keep up to date with the things that are most important while being physically separated from them.

 

The concept

The concept consists of a PC enclosed within an flat packed cabinet, this would run a purpose made OS and GUI that would be projected on to a wall and be controlled by gesture and voice commands from a hacked Xbox Kinect. The patient, carer and loved ones would all own a small wooden USB key designed by Josephine Gomersall that could be warn as a necklace and would act functionally as an on/off switch but also emotionally as a connection between patient, carer and loved ones as well as the cabinet. The Memory Cabinet is about empowering Alzheimer’s patients, it’s about opening a window and letting them see life. 

The Memory Cabinet is about empowering Alzheimer’s patients, it’s about opening a window and letting them see life. 

Exposure and LASTING impact

The concept was featured in Sheffield Hallam University's Healthcare Technologies Brochure. A brochure distributed in order document and show off the range of pioneering design, engineering and healthcare studies across the university to prospective students, alumni, partners and funding bodies. 

Leading Occupational Therapist Dr. Clare Craige uses this project in her presentations as an example of mixing design thinking with therapy and challenges Occupational Therapist up and down the country to be inspired to develop products of their own.

Who Was Involved

The project has involved the input of Jewelry and Metalwork Designer, Josephine Gomersall, Interior Designers, Steven Batty and Rachel Valance of Tetsu Design and the expert guidance of NHS occupational therapist Claire Jepson of NHS Grenoside Grange Hospital and Dr Claire Craig, occupational therapist and senior researcher at Sheffield Hallam University. My main responsibilities included conception and designing through research, communicating, pitching, and presenting the idea.