grocery shopping app - HTC Vive

A patient, while talking to the team, mentioned that they would like a grocery shopping simulation in VR, because it would be cool to go grocery shopping and pick up objects in the VR spectrum. The therapists working at Neurological Recovery Center agreed that the application would come with its own advantages that would lend itself to therapy easily:

  1. The reaching for objects in the scene would lend to shoulder therapy very easily.

  2. The app could be made easier or harder based on the person using it and their ability to be able to stretch to reach the object.

  3. There were multiple components to grocery shopping which could easily lend itself to multiple levels in the app.

  4. People have to go grocery shopping in general, thus this was a semi realistic game to join the other games created by us.

Retail Therapy is a grocery shopping simulation game. In this game, the setting is a grocery store with items on the aisles. A shopping list is provided to the user. The user needs to use this list and pick up objects from the aisles.

Since a lot of the patients here may not be able to hold the controller as well as press the buttons at the same time, a snap to controller technique was used instead. The patients reach out for the object, and hover over it for 3 seconds to pick it up. This helps in the form of therapeutic exercise, as it essentially makes the user reach out their hand and keep it stationary for those 3 seconds.

Once 3 seconds have passed, the object snaps to the controller. They then have to go drop it in the cart strategically placed in front of them. With the object highlighted, the user will have to stretch their hands forward as if to put their items in the cart. The cart will highlight, and after holding it for 3 seconds, the object snaps to the cart.

With shoulder therapy, the main components include flexion and extension - this is the movement of the arm away from the body, forward and backward respectively. With the placement of items in the scene, we enable them to do flexion and extension exercises but with a controller in their hand.

Jennifer Zoll, the Clinical Director at Neurological Recovery Center, had this to say:

“The thing about this application is that it makes the patient reach to grab the objects off of the grocery aisles. They need to have a controlled movement while reaching for the object, hover there for a few seconds, and then bring their hand to the cart. While doing this, they have to bring it across the midline, which crosses over in the brain and hover over the cart as well.

This app requires hand eye coordination, helps the range of motion, as well as their strength. There is also a cognitive component where the patient has to look around to find the object and then reach out to pick it up”