Technology can also be used to address social challenges. That is why we promote the development of appropriate solutions and educational offerings. These include, for example, the IRMGARD app, which helps adults learn to read and write in German. It is aimed at both German speakers who have difficulties with reading and writing and people who are learning German as a foreign language. The following related developments also took shape in the year under review:
Sea Hero Quest – baseline study confirms positive contribution to dementia research
Dementia is a huge medical challenge. Some 47 million people suffer from dementia today – a number that is set to triple by 2050. Our “Game for Good” initiative aims to help scientists develop new procedures so they can diagnose dementia earlier. Over the last three years, we have worked with scientists and games developers to create the cellphone game “Sea Hero Quest” (2016) and virtual-reality game “Sea Hero Quest VR” (2017). The games collect anonymous data about the spatial navigation skills of players, since disorientation in place is one of the early signs of dementia. In 2018, a baseline study run by University College London and the University of East Anglia in the UK confirmed that the games are helping advance global research into dementia.
More than four million people around the world are already playing Sea Hero Quest and thereby helping to support dementia research. The virtual reality version “Sea Hero Quest VR” gathers particularly accurate data about players’ sense of spatial orientation. Collected anonymously, the data is being continuously evaluated by scientists to provide a basis for hopefully developing an application for the early detection of dementia by 2022.
The VR game can be downloaded for free at the Oculus Store and in Google Daydream. The mobile game is no longer available in the App Store or Google Play as the scientists have sufficient data and the quantity and quality of this data have exceeded expectations by far.