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National Acoustics Laboratories

The game that rewires the brain to listen

The National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) is a government funded body that drives research to improve hearing health and rehabilitation. One of NAL's key research projects centred around Spatial Processing Disorder i.e. the inability to make use of the direction that sound is coming from.

NAL had developed an effective but laborious software platform that was successful in remediating SPD over a 10 week period. The challenge was engagement, with children being required to attend an auditory clinic in order to engage with the Software. Our qualitative audience research revealed that the key issue was engagement, with many children failing to complete the laborious 10-week course. 

Utilising key skillsets across the Group, we developed the Soundstorm remediation application, an auditory training game that layered gaming and reward aspects over a 10-week training course. The game featured a multi-layered reward mechanic providing feedback, daily unlocks and weekly rewards that open up new worlds and progress the story to ensure engagement for the duration of the campaign. Importantly, the reward mechanic is driven by the auditory training algorithm with reward and progression activated when the algorithm detects the required progress and auditory improvement.

"It makes me feel fantastic to see research flowing into practice flowing into improvements in people's lives. We’re glad that this project could form part of our research."

Dr Harvey Dillon - Research Director, NAL

Gameplay is translated into detailed medical graphs, so a child's preferred audiologist can monitor and track remedial progress accurately.

Studies have shown incredible results, with 100% of SPD affected children who complete the programme being shown to have been cured of the disorder. The project was also the agency’s most awarded piece of work... ever. Picking up numerous local and international awards, including a highly coveted Webby Award.

We embraced Googles Analytics and Adwords stack predominantly for CDU, utilising it’s technology and integration across the full range of products.

A Compelling Narrative

A Compelling Narrative

The full spectrum of creative resources within the agency combined forces to craft a rich and compelling story around the training programme.

Crafted by Hand

The game is filled with numerous magnificent characters and unique environments. Each element entirely handcrafted and rendered to create a fully realised and vibrant galaxy.

Between Level Cinematics

Each level is in dispersed with animated cinematics to bring the story to life and deliver a rich visual overlay to an already ‘out of this world’ narrative.

Journey Through Amazing Worlds

On their journey, the child traverses several worlds, interacting with multiple characters and storylines. The exquisite detail of each world sustained participation.

Original Character Design

The game is filled with original, hand-crafted characters. Each detailed and rendered to create a believable, yet fantastical experience that the child can engage with, in their own creative way.

We matched a rich graphical interface to underlying sophisticated technology to create an entertaining and functionally useful remedial platform.

From Tech Sophistication to Medical Certification

From Tech Sophistication to Medical Certification

NAL’s algorithm manages a live assessment and response of the child's interaction with the tool. It’s a complex and dynamic solution that has achieved medical certification for hearing remediation.

Translating into a Design Response

Translating into a Design Response

We developed a creative layer to the algorithm to provide visuals to complement the foundation remediation logic.

Underpinning the Creative Concept

Underpinning the Creative Concept

Importantly, the application layer is built to integrate with the foundation algorithm in a way that preserves the original certification. The app simply gamifies the medical logic while complimenting its remediation.

Data played a key role in the overarching concept and the practicality of the project.

Deepend National Acoustics Laboratories

Qualitative Insights Shaped the Concept

Our audience research showed the emotional states of children being an important consideration for the creative execution. “Children are advised of their condition and that the cure is a challenging 10-week journey – this is a daunting experience for anyone. We needed to provide a balance of support, play, challenge and reward.”

Remote Tracking

Remote Tracking

Algorithms automatically translated into detailed clinical graphs designed for audiologists to remotely track remedial progress in a faster and cheaper way than had been experienced previously.

Quantitative Progress in Real-Time

Quantitative Progress in Real-Time

The application layer is built to integrate with the foundation algorithm in a way that preserves the original certification and delivers the output progress reports in real-time for users.

Results Listing

100% success rate for completing the course

Studies have shown that 100% of SPD affected children completing the remediation program are cured of the disorder.

Awarded on an International Stage

We were proud to announce that Soundstorm went on to win a number of world regarded Awards, including a coveted Webby Award for best Health Application.

Huge engagement driven in users

The application has shown a 70% increase in patients undertaking the 10 week course, testament not only to how engaging the application is, but also the practicality of it being available offsite from an audiologist.