Rainycrest unveils interactive projector for its residents

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

With the help of money raised through the efforts of the Rainycrest Auxiliary, residents at the Long-Term Care Home are able to get active with a special new piece of technology that helps bring fun, exercise and the outside world directly to their fingertips.

In a demonstration to Rainycrest Auxiliary staff, Riverside Foundation for Health Care members and others, Calli Vandenbrand, Rainycrest’s interim resident experience and activation coordinator, and resident Jan Hall-Bosma walked through the different functions of the interactive projection unit known as the OmiVista Mobii. The mobile machine is a complex and useful interactive projector that features hundreds of different activities designed to allow Rainycrest residents a different way to be active and engaged, regardless of their mobility.

Vandenbrand said one of the key features of the unit is that it can be raised or lowered to change the area of the projections, allowing tabletop usage for wheelchair-bound residents, but also other projection surfaces.

“We can project it onto the floor, so we can do stomping games if we have residents who are more mobile,” Vandenbrand explained.

Rainycrest resident Jan Hall-Bosma, right, shows some of the interactive musical features of the OmiVista Mobii to Rainycrest Auxiliary member June Caul by playing a virtual xylophone with a segment of pool noodle. –Ken Kellar photo

“But since a lot of our people are wheelchair-bound, we like to project it onto a tabletop, then we can wheel them up, put them around it, and then they can interact with it.”

“Interact” is the key word at play when the OmiVista is in use. The projection surface is not dissimilar to other projections from a wall or ceiling mounted film projector, or even an old-school overhead, but once the image is on the designated surface, no other special equipment is necessary to interact with the displayed image. While demonstrating a few of the activities pre-loaded into the unit, Hall-Bosma used both her hands and short segments of foam pool noodles to “wipe” away sections of an photograph to reveal hidden items or animals, or play melodies on a simulated xylophone.

“There are about 1,000 different games, and you can purchase more games for it too if you want specific sections,” Vandenbrand explained.

Riverside Foundation for Health Care director Allison Cox, left, goes hands on with Rainycrest Long-Term Care Home’s new OmiVista Mobii interactive projector during a demonstration provided by interim resident experience and activation coordinator Calli Vandenbrand on Thursday, November 24, 2022. – Ken Kellar photo

“There are quizzes, games, puzzles, interactive things. It works really good for people’s behaviours, just to have something stimulating that doesn’t take very much effort. There’s nothing challenging. For example, one game is a simple animal quiz, it’ll ask things like ‘which of these animals is a lion?’ and then you just reach out and tap the right animal on the table. It will tell you if you have it right, and if you guessed wrong, it will tell you what the animal was.”

The Omi product website notes that their different units are specifically designed both for children and adults with learning disabilities, as well as other age-related diseases or physical health concerns. Listed on the Mobii product page, the company claims that professionals using the Mobii system have seen positive changes in connection with emotional stability, mood and outlook, sense of self-worth, physical energy levels and social involvement in those adults who have made use of the interactive unit.

The Mobii unit cost $19,722, which was entirely covered through the work of the Rainycrest Auxiliary, proceeds from the Rainycrest Gift Shop and other donations, and Riverside Foundation director Allison Cox shared that they are always thankful to the efforts of the Rainycrest auxiliary when it comes to supporting and expanding the offerings at the home.

“The Auxiliary purchases are made possible through the support of the Rainycrest Gift Shop and donation received, particularly in memoriam donations,” Cox said.

“The Foundation is extremely appreciative of the support provided by the Rainycrest Auxiliary. It has been a tough few years for them, and although they are not able to interact with the residents in the same manner they did before COVID, it is amazing to see how much they care.”

Cox noted that the 2022/2023 pledges received from the Rainycrest auxiliary that went towards the OmiVista machine were also used to purchase two exercise bikes, a fridge and freezer for food services, which have already arrived and are in use, along with two ceiling lifts and two interactive companion pets, which have been ordered and are waiting on delivery.