Why Interactive Avatars for Treating Autism?
The interaction between avatars and children on the spectrum is up to you, based on your own goals and plans for that specific client. At times, you’ll enlist an aide to control the avatar, while your client observes the positive behavior. Other times, the child himself/herself will be the voice of the live cartoon character, demonstrating the new learning.
Our interactive cartoon characters appearing on laptop computers are fun, not intimidating or boring. They are digital puppets, doing and saying what the person in control does and says. When the puppeteer talks through the mic, the avatar speaks at the same time. The controls are simple to use and will withstand many hundreds of hours of sessions.
Each of our 3D Digital Puppeteer systems comes with a free subscription to AB Pathfinder for the first tier (up to 15 clients), an impressive live data collection tool for your iPad. You’ll get training for AB Pathfinder as well as Invirtua’s Digital Puppeteer, and if things don’t work out, we will happily take the system back and provide a refund within the first 60 days.
It May Not Be for Everyone
WHAT INVIRTUA DOES – Invirtua’s 3D Digital Puppeteer is an artistic instrument that teaches the skill of performance animation, a relatively new artform. When children start out, it helps if they have an affinity for cartoons, computers, video games and a curiosity about puppets. By using the system, they are expected to see gains in learning social skills, conversation skills and improved motivation. The puppetry allows them to practice social skills they learn in therapy. The therapist can use the screen as a platform for teaching reading, speech, emotion recognition, interpreting body language and situational responses. They get motivated with an offer to take over the controls themselves and create their own show.
The possibilities of what Invirtua has to offer those of us working to make a difference in the field of autism is enormous. I have only touched the surface in using this technology to motivate, teach and inspire my students in all those areas that matter, including social skills, speech development, imagination, emotional engagement, as well as the three R’s.Enid Webb, MA-CCC-SLP
Cody showed an increase in willingness to discuss emotional triggers, where before he would melt down with a refusal and defensiveness. He automatically answered some questions regarding emotions based on audience expectations. I expected him to say yes he gets along with sister, because it’s a more appropriate response. It helps to pattern more positive thoughts and to generalize more positive interactions with sister.Nancy Barcal - MA-CCC-SLP
This technology is something I developed in the entertainment field and brought to help in autism, because related research has been encouraging it for almost 20 years. Even so, it’s so new that there are no direct studies of our specific system and avatars. If you are interested in doing research and possibly even publishing, please let me know and we can discuss providing you with a complete 3D Digital Puppeteer system. We will include the ABPathfinder data collection system and guidance by our leading expert in video modeling, Dr. Tom Buggey.
We provide a complete 3D Digital Puppeteer system for $2,790, including the Dell gaming laptop computer, Wacom pen/tablet, game controller with joystick, webcam, cables and headset, plus our live animation software and six characters from our own library of fish, kids, people and even a dinosaur. Our software technology uses a hardware key called a “dongle,” which is coupled with key codes, to deter copying our property. The laptop will be shipped with everything installed and tested in a Windows10 environment, and we will provide free phone support to keep you up and running. All the hardware has a 1-year warranty, and we’ll provide a full refund if it doesn’t work out for you, within 60 days. I will personally work on and set up every 3D Digital Puppeteer system myself to be sure it runs correctly when it leaves here.
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