Research coordinator, lecturer and researcher at the Applied Games Research Group of Fontys University of Applied Science in Eindhoven (the Netherlands). His work and research focusses on the cross over between design, perception and technology. Tom was educated as musician, music theorist and composer and worked in the video games, entertainment and advertisement industry and, as interaction designer, for product design and innovation.
The Persuasive Sonic Design of Philips Kittenscanner – lessons learned
The 2009 Dutch Design Award winning Kittenscanner (Philips Healthcare, 2006) was designed to transform the procedure of MR/CT scans for children into a playful interaction with the aim of taking away (part) of the children’s distress. This resulted in a four step approach in which the child identifies with an avatar, learns about the procedure in a narrative manner, simulates the procedure as a life action role-play (LARP) and, during the actual scan, is part of an immersive visual and sonic world. As a result the need to administer sedatives during the procedure, significantly decreased.
In the presentation the role of the Kittenscanner’s sounds and music (the sonic design) in the different steps of the playful interaction will be discussed. By analyzing the music and sound effects using insights from different theories and models from media studies, semiotics and recent cognitive, neurocognitive and behavioral studies, it becomes clear how the music and sounds help to understand, interpret and evaluate the event of being scanned. Further is makes clear how the music helps to trigger certain desired behavior: in this case “holding your breath”. Findings from this case study will be abstracted to a design pattern level that helps to understand the full potential of persuasive sonic design in and outside medical procedures.