A Boat Called Quo Vadis: A Journey Down Memory Lane

This week we will sail onto the sea of interactive multi-sensory technology with the Quo Vadis, so lift the anchors and away we go, mateys!

Studies have shown that the use of familiar sensory experiences, be it smell, sight or taste can trigger memories in patients suffering from dementia and reconnect and activate parts of the brain affected by the disease. The use of music therapy, for example, using familiar old songs, has shown to greatly increase the quality of life for many patients, making them more active and engaged, and decreasing behavioral problems.

Enter the little Tug Boat called Quo Vadis. Created by the Dutch artistic duo, Thomas Voor‘t Hekke, and Bas van Oerle, collectively known as FRONT404, this interactive multi-sensory art installation serves a bigger cause than just being looked at.

“We try to reach people in unexpected and unusual ways, in the conviction that memorable and fun experiences are the best way to get them to look at the world in a new light. Much of FRONT404’s work is dedicated to our quest to make the world a more playful place.”

Quo Vadis is an interactive boat that serves as the centerpiece of the inner garden of the Nieuw Rijsenburgh retirement home. It provides a multi-sensory interactive experience for residents of the home, many of whom suffer from dementia.

Through the use of virtual reality built into the wheelhouse of the old boat, one can get the feeling of sailing, with the familiar sounds of the wooden boat creaking, the engine chugging along, the waves lapping against the boat and the seagulls calling. The boat can also be steered onto a different course and the compass shows direction like it would on the open sea. It even includes an old radio with multiple channels playing well-known Dutch fisherman’s songs and sea shanties from residents’ youths to stir their memories.

On the deck of the boat, there is also a large comfy place to sit for less mobile residents or for when they just want to sit and enjoy the sun and listen to the music and sounds from the wheelhouse.

Nieuw Rijsenburgh is located on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee, and many of its residents spent their younger years working on the water or in the harbor. With the Quo Vadis they wanted to create familiar sensory experiences for the residents to aid in the treatment for residents suffering from dementia.

We think it’s such a great way to use new tech to help improve the lives of the elderly and create a space where they can relive years gone by! What do you think of this innovative idea?

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Anriette van Wyk
Anriette van Wyk

Tech Editor

Anriette is an alumni of The Open Window Institute where she studied Visual Communication. Currently she is the Boss Lady at Kief Kreativ with more than 10 years experience in the creative industry where she works as a professional photographer on big productions and concerts with both local and international artists. She has a wide portfolio, ranging from weddings, fashion, studio and editorial photography under her belt. Anriette is a photographer, designer, illustrator, model, car fanatic, dinosaur lover and Indiana Jones wannabe.

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BLOSS is an international media platform for South African women who live all over the world in the age group, 20 – 35 years. We integrate print and technology through innovative and exciting ways to keep things fresh, modern and interactive.