A big focus in dementia and technology research has been to tackle the cognitive deficits that often accompany the condition. Virtual reality has been used in the assessment and rehabilitation of cognitive processes in dementia since the 1990s , and more recently it's been used to deliver exergames . These developments are no doubt very exciting - however, the potential for virtual reality as an expressive and creative medium to allow people with dementia to experience new, exciting, stimulating and potentially therapeutic environments, entirely separate from the stress of cognitive assessment, should also be addressed.
1. Garcia-Betances, R. I., Jiménez-Mixco, V., Arredondo, M. T., & Cabrera-Umpiérrez, M. F. (2015). Using virtual reality for cognitive training of the elderly. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias®, 30(1),
2. Finkelstein, S., Nickel, A., Lipps, Z., Barnes, T., Wartell, Z., & Suma, E. A. (2011). Astrojumper: Motivating exercise with an immersive virtual reality exergame. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 20(1), 78-92.
This event, organised by Open Lab at Newcastle University and held in central Newcastle, will provide an environment for innovative and creative ideas to emerge surrounding how we might create
enriching shared experiences for people living with dementia.
At the beginning of this two-day hackathon, we will help to "matchmake" participants and aid in the formation of multidisciplinary teams (ready-formed teams are also welcome!). Saturday morning will see the event introduced by keynotes from industry, research and practice experts. Teams will be provided with creative material and qualitative data gathered from people living with dementia, as well as research from experts in the area of technology and dementia, in order to inspire them to create assets and environments that might enrich the experiences of those affected by the condition. After a solid 24 hours+ where participants are free to ideate, design, hack and make to their hearts' content, teams will have the opportunity to demonstrate, and present their reasoning behind their design choices to a team of expert judges in dementia care and research, who will award a monetary prize to the winning team.
First Prize: £1,000
Second Prize: £500
Great North Museum:
Newcastle upon Tyne
Submit an outline to your proposed idea. Use Ideaboard to collaborate with others to create ideas before the hackathon takes place
From your proposed ideas, our team will work closely with experts to help develop your ideas further!
Finally, using the expert feedback, reflect on your ideas to make them ready for the hackathon.
April 5th - 7th
Come join us at the Hancock Museum for a 2-day hackathon
Pre-registration will be held on Friday before the hackathon starts to bring particpants together for team formation. We will also do an overview of the ideas created on ideaboard. Feel free to choose one of these
ideas or start from scratch and create your own.
Coming to the Friday event will help designers and developers understand what is expected over the weekend and to get
to know everyone who is taking part in the hackathon.
Reccomended team size: 4-5
The hackathon will begin Saturday morning with all teams formed (any teams not organised, will be organised on the morning). The day will start out with three keynote speakers talking about their experiences about designing technology with people living with dementia. Afterwards, teams will have free rein to work on their designs for over 24 hours.
Sunday morning will give teams time to finalise their ideas and set up for judging. Each team will present their idea and creations to a panel of judges comprised of domain experts, designers. Prizes will be awarded based on creativity, originality, and project demonstration.
note: FAQ will update as the project continues.
1. What am I expected to make?
Typically, hackathons such as these bring people together to form teams, solve problems and begin to build new solutions. The sorts of technological "things" produced by hackathons differ widely, and with just ~48 hours or so, we acknowledge that outputs can come in many different forms.
Some of the outputs we might expect include:
All of these are just examples of the sorts of things various teams may be able to produce in the time allotted, and the feasibility of each will vary according to the makeup of teams. What is as important as the form of your final output is the originality and appropriateness of your idea, and the way you communicate it to the audience at the event.