iMUSE

What is the iMUSE?
The iMUSE and sensory rooms are new additions to UPMO and were launched in July 2015. There are only a handful of iMUSE facilities across the UK.
It is a truly state of the art space combining sounds, motion, vibration and visual elements into a unique and effective experience. The purpose of the iMUSE can depend on the clients needs and can be tailored to each specific user. It can be used as a relaxation tool, to increase movement range and fine motor control; it can reduce anxiety and has been used to help those with depression or isolation issues.
The room consists of a vibrating platform that reacts to certain sounds and can be felt by the clients, even through standing frames and wheelchairs. The level can be controlled by the facilitators, or the clients, pitch and volume.

“The iMUSE uses modern technologies to give creative control to the user. Where a sound can spark a waterfall of colour or the flick of a wrist can sound a piano scale.”
 
How does it work?
Once seated the room is arranged so each sound made can be reflected on the projected visuals in front of the user. There is also a microphone for more intricate sound use and effects.
The displays themselves are fully customisable and can be tailored to each student with millions of colour and effect combinations. The motion sensor too can be customised in space, sensitivity and sound. So a blink of the eye can play a bass note, or a head movement can scale the piano.
This sensory experience has many different effects, from extended motion, to relaxation and a sense of control and engagement. Each student will have their own experience and following repeat sessions a profile and plan can be put in place by our skilled iMUSE facilitators.

Sessions are:
30 minutes
60 minutes

Block bookings are available
 
Can anyone use it?
We are pleased to be able to make the iMUSE facility available to the whole community.
For enquires about session rates and bookings please contact Aaron Hubber: info@upwardmobilityproject.com or by phone: 0131 661 4411
Each session includes a dedicated, iMUSE trained, facilitator. They can structure sessions according to need and manage the sounds and visualisations in response the users attention and aims of the session.
 


Case Study (released with permission, but anonymised)
One of the first clients to use the iMUSE was a student who was a wheelchair user with complex learning difficulties and limited sight and speech.
As the student began to get used to the space the facilitator was able to read his movements and sounds to customise the experience to what he would find most pleasing and beneficial. High contrast visualisation brought forth happy giggles and increased movement. This combined with the vibrations of the plate encouraged the student to vocalise.
Any noises he makes, whether it is tapping on the side of his wheelchair or laughing or vocalising, is picked up through the microphones around the room and makes the projector display bright bursts of colour to suit his visual preferences.
Then, we add his movements to the mix, by using a camera to turn any motion into a range of sounds in real time. The camera capture is focused in on the student, so that he alone controls the sounds made. Soon he is moving his head back and forth, and laughing, which in turn makes the projections respond.
The student is enjoying the iMUSE sessions and is starting to stay in the room for longer. He is also interacting more and showing an understanding that he can control the space and that the visual and audio reactions are to his own sounds and movements. The aim is to extend the session and encourage more control in the room and awareness of the effect his interactions can have.