University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital


Patients and their families at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital can enjoy healing benefits and interactive adventures through a technology-based theater. DI created an immersive 32-feet long curved theater located in the Gerdin Family Lobby of the hospital.

Using Microsoft Kinect technology, DI’s animation and motion graphics team designed two interactive video games specifically for the theater. The games provide healing benefits as well. Researchers at the National Children’s Medical Center in Washington D.C. found that video games can provide a distraction that aids in pain relief. Children also become more likely to push muscles they previously would not move due to pain, therefore increasing their range of motion much faster.

A child life specialist noted that the theater helps children who’ve long been confined to a room to slowly work their way back into a public setting. The interactive games help them forget that they’re away from their room and being an active child again in a immersive enrvironment.

The “Eagles’ Flight” game designed by DI allows participants to start in Iowa and then use their arms to control a bird flying across the United States seeing Mount Rushmore and other landmarks along the way. “Story in the Stars” brings three original stories to life as constellations in the night sky. As users experience a story, they can interact with on-screen hot-spots to reveal animated elements filling each scene. This game has four unique voice overs, so that children get a slightly different experience each time they interact with the game.

Other installations created by DI include interactive donor walls, a history space with informational plaques and custom exhibits, and a mobile art projection display.