Thyra Frank (Photo: Center for Playware)

Minister consults playware for seniors in Japan

Friday 15 Sep 17


Henrik Hautop Lund
DTU Electro
+45 45 25 39 29

Moto tiles

Moto tiles are modular interactive tiles. As an example of playware, the technological tiles engage users in playful interaction. The tiles can light up in different colors and sense pressure (e.g. from feet). Different games are designed to be played on the Moto tiles. The tiles are investigated as a motivational welfare technology.

The Danish Minister for Senior Citizens, Thyra Frank, visited the Hanshin IkiIki Day Service in Osaka on 14 September 2017 to find inspiration on the senior citizen care in Japan and see for herself how the Japanese use the Center for Playware's Moto tiles for playful physical and cognitive training of seniors. 

During the visit, the minister saw a number of Japanese senior citizens playing with the Moto tiles, and talked with some of the older Japanese on their joy of training with the tiles. Amongst these were an older gentleman (see photo) completely paralyzed in one side of the body, who expressed his enormous joy from using the Moto tiles. Further, the Japanese hosts told the minister about the effects on the brain from the Moto tiles play, which are found in effect studies with brain scanning and cognitive tests of older adults in Japan.

It is interesting for the Danish Minister for Senior Citizens to find inspiration from Japan, since it has long been the leading country in welfare and health technology for the elderly, due to the early demographic development with a large proportion of seniors. In Japan, the proportion of older people (65 years and over) is more than 26%, equivalent to 33 million older people, and it is expected that the proportion will grow to about 40% by 2060.

At DTU, the randomized controlled trial in the Ph.D. dissertation by Jari Due Jessen has shown the clinical effect among elderly from playing with the Moto tiles, concluding that the play on Moto tiles highly significantly increases balancing test scores and leg strength test scores. Such evidence of effect supports the use among older adults with balancing problems, e.g. post stroke patients like the Japanese gentleman.  

Further evidence of effect of playware play among older adults regarding motivation and functional abilities is collected in the ongoing EU project REACH.

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