released project | september 2017



project description

A mobile virtual reality experience designed to help children undergoing cancer treatment. The experience was co-created by children at the Hospital de Clínicas - a public hospital in Porto Alegre, Brasil - and presented to them on a truly heartwarming day.

The hospital’s pediatric oncology recreation room was decorated to fit a space theme and we set up several tech gadgets for the children to play with. Every child was dressed as “A little astronaut” and taken to this recreation room on their WHEELCHAIR, while watching a virtual reality experience of their own spaceship taking off to space.

In The virtual reality experience, they navigated through a playful representation of outer space meeting several of the planets they helped to co-create in real life. The spaceship would then land on the final planet where the children would take off the virtual reality headset to find themselves in a whole different room.

We then guided the children through a tour on the history of that strange universe they were in. Each step of the history was told with the help of a fun tech gadget for the children to play with. While the gadgets were standing still without the children’s interactions, they were led to believe that their own happiness and positive energy helped to flourish life on that universe, and that This would also apply to their real lives, as their happiness, motivation and inspiration will always be protective factors on facing adversities.

Childhood Cancer

The brazilian national institute of cancer (INCA) measures childhood cancer as the leading cause of death for children and adolescents in Brazil, with about 12,500 new cases every year. It is a complex condition with a wide range of symptoms and severity levels, while the most common form in children is leukemia.

over the last four decades There has been an enormous advancement on childhood cancer treatment. About 80% of Early diagnosed children who are treated In specialized centers in Brazil can expect to be cured and to have a good quality of life after treatment.

The treatment for childhood cancer, however, does not consist exclusively on chemotherapy or radiotherapy but on a more complete approach on the child’s both physical and mental health. Besides a well-equipped recreation room, the hospital endorsed cultural activities such as musical performances and workshops to keep the children inspired and promote their resilience when facing the challenges of the treatment. Our experience at the hospital was overwhelming and we were grateful to CO CREATE a fun and engaging experience for the children there.

Planets and spaceships based on the children drawings

Planets and spaceships based on the children drawings

Virtual reality for impact

Among many initiatives worldwide to develop virtual reality applications for social good, such as oculus’ vr for good and HTC’s VR for impact, it is becoming more evident how this technology may be used to improve our societies.

With lumi we wanted to embark on this journey to explore how developers can join the fight with professionals from other areas, such as healthcare. Besides an enormous learning from developing within a multidisciplinary context, we ended up with a feeling of having SUCCESSFULLY developed an experience which would be otherwise impossible to develop on our own.

footage from the making of

footage from the making of

Main features

  • Embark on a journey to outer space as you play with a spaceship of your choice. Take off from earth and go above and beyond in a playful FICTITIOUS universe where some planets are inhabited by orange robots or others are split in horizontal segments with unique biomes, and many more.

  • Explore Custom-made environments co created by the children at the hospital de clínicas of porto alegre. Every planet and spaceship was heavily inspired by the drawings the children made when we played with them during production.

  • a More than virtual journey in which the children played with several technologies. All children received a tour in our fictional planet, in which they gathered in small groups and experimented with fun tech gadgets such as small robots and drones.

technical aspects

The project was developed for mobile virtual reality using unreal engine (???). The first step of the project was to gather with our partners and research about childhood cancer and the treatments available at our local hospital. We talked with health professionals to understand how exactly we could extended reality technologies to help the children in a way that’s also familiar to the hospital health workers. After several meetings, we started production on a prototype virtual reality experience to guide our project’s feeling and mood.

For the next months of development, We simultaneously organized how we would design the recreation room - set design, props and tech gadgets - and created the virtual reality experience together with the children. at this time, WE had a lot of fun with them talking about outer space, technology, playing and drawing, and we were increasingly inspired by their will power. We ESTABLISHED wonderful partnerships with an GRAFFITI artist, artisans for the set design, a stylist for our costumes and so on.

On the last week before presenting to the children, we rehearsed the whole experience on a facility of our own and briefed the hospital staff. On the final day, Everything worked incredibly well, and the experience OCCURRED as described above in the project description. More important than the technical aspects we learned by making this project, it is important to notice how we were impacted by the children ourselves, their inner strength, resilience and will power continues to inspire us to this day. OCCASIONALLY, one of the children who participated in our project was discharged by the end of the experience, which led to an incredible moment we will always remember.

IN may 2017, we gathered with our partners to start the project and plan the visits at the hospital.

In june 2017, we started visiting the hospital to co create the experience with the children.

IN september 2017, we presented Lumi to the children undergoing cancer treatment on the hospital de clínicas of porto alegre.

children playing with technology gadgets

children playing with technology gadgets