We create multi-sensory interactive products
We set up Reflex Arc because we wanted to create multi-sensory, interactive products and experiences that entertain, educate and inspire.
I’m Richard England and prior to creating Reflex Arc I’ve been nominated for a BAFTA, won a few awards and have worked on games, applications and digital interactive installations for a variety of clients including The National Media Museum, BBC, Channel 4 and Blind Children UK. I also created a virtual reality cycling prototype to promote safety awareness.
Reflex Arc are based in Leeds, but we work with clients from all around the world.
Using gesture recognition and motion sensors to help children
We’ve done a lot of work using gesture recognition and body motion sensors, working with partners GamelabUK and Hassell Inclusion to build inclusive applications to help blind children improve their posture and for young people with communication difficulties to practise their sign language.
Using our software to help with physical rehabilitation
Last year, my father had surgery on his knee. Following the treatment he struggled with the exercises he was given as part of his physical rehabilitation, finding it difficult to remain motivated and perceiving no evidence of improvement. In the wider world, people recovering from surgery, stroke and other injuries can struggle in the same way, in turn leading to longer recovery times and becoming a larger burden on healthcare systems. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to build on our previous work and make software that could help.
Using games to help patients recover faster
During a previous feasibility study we built a series of games that helped patients practise their exercises, scoring their progress and measuring their improvement. What we were beginning to establish is that we can build software that can help patients visualise their treatment, and progress, and motivate them in a fun engaging way.
We decided to apply to Innovate UK because we felt our work could help people like my father if we could develop it further, and take it into the realm of virtual reality.
We can now explore the health benefits of virtual reality (VR)
The funding we secured allows us to further explore the benefits of VR. Our solution builds on the elements we had already started around physical rehabilitation from strokes. We now have the opportunity to make this experience completely immersive, and we can present data, in context, in a new and useful way.
Missing networks and contacts not ideas
We’ve got a track record of producing innovative products, making them a quality experience, and getting them to market, so we’ve certainly got the know-how. This is a new market to us however, and what we were missing was the clinical network and contacts.
This competition will connect us to exactly the kind of organisations that we need to move our ideas forward and make our product idea a reality. At the end of trial we would hope that a number of hospitals have signed up for this minimally viable product. From there we need to refine the product to make it more mobile and less tethered to wires and desktop machines.
We expect the technology itself to mature to a point where this is all possible in about 2 – 3 years. Ultimately we’re looking at a full commercial launch in 2017 or 2018.
As this project progresses we hope to expand to have more employees (we are also currently on The Business Growth Service’s Growth Accelerator program), and to have the capacity to fully explore new technology that can improve the experience.
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