Magic-forest LED walls calm kids on way to surgery

Thanks to a U.K. design studio, the walls leading into the surgical center of a London children's medical center now leap with interactive animated animals.

Jason Bruges Studio transformed a nondescript hospital corridor into an interactive installation for kids. Jason Bruges Studio

Anyone who's had surgery would probably agree that being wheeled into the operating room can prove quite the anxiety-producing ride.

Jason Bruges Studio

A London design studio has come up with a wonderfully creative way to calm young patients en route to surgery -- interactive wallpaper that turns clinical corridor walls into a magical forest to engage and distract the kids as they journey toward their procedure.

The installation, called Nature Trail, fills about 165 feet of corridor walls in part of the Mittal Children's Medical Centre at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The cheerful printed paper (hospital grade, for easy washing) disguises 70 LED panels housing a total of 72,000 LEDs. When triggered by motion sensors, the LEDs reveal themselves as interactive animated patterns of light shaped like moving horses, deer, hedgehogs, birds, and frogs peeking through the foliage and trees.

"The idea came from remembering walks in my childhood," Jason Bruges of Jason Bruges Studio, which created the installation, told the Guardian. "I loved spotting and following things, those stolen glances and glimpses... I was trying to re-create this with the idea of digital lookout points along the corridor."

The studio modeled the critters in 3D before translating them to low resolution to give the creatures an aesthetic akin to pixelated video game characters. The creators then placed the LED panels at various heights so kids from newborn to 18, in beds and wheelchairs, can access the animals at eye level.

The hospital says its young patients have been so entranced by the nature canvas that it will grow to fill more walls by 2017.

Jason Bruges Studio

(Via PSFK)

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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