Sound of Memory is a tool that enables elderly and people with dementia to stay in contact with loved ones, their environment and precious memories, through sound. The concept involves a sound player and separate tokens that represent different recognizable sounds.

Programming by Guus van der Sluijs.

1st prize winner of Pleyade Design Contest 2018. Read article (in Dutch).
Other publications:
Duiven Post (web, 2018)
Pleyn (web, 2018)
How might contact and reminiscence be stimulated among people with dementia living in a care home?
Tokens are divided into general and personal ones. The general tokens include sounds of e.g. places, items or activities.
Personal tokens contain messages, music or stories added by family and friends, e.g. via an app.
The project started with desktop research, as well as visiting a care home. Sensorial stimulation is proven to be suitable for the target group and is also a powerful tool to recall memories. The choice was made to focus on sound. Possible scenarios that involve sound, that could help stimulate communication, contact and reminiscence, were sketched out.
After ideation in both 2D and 3D, one idea was worked out further into a proposal and discussed with care personnel at the care home. After this meeting the conclusion was that the concept needed to be simplified and expect less initiative from the user.
The shape changed to be less radio-inspired and was placed laying down to make clear what is the usable side, as well as to improve stability. It can be reached from all sides, which also enables multiple users. Material and color palette was defined as:

• Vintage/retro look and feel
• Familiar materials (textile and wood)
• Contrast (important parts are highlighted)
The tokens are wooden with a 3D-printed base that contains an RFID-tag and a magnet. Simple, clear icons are hand printed directly onto the wood.
The player is made from 2 parts and a push-in frame. Besides holding the pieces together the frame also serves as a clear visual border. Illustrations show detailing of frame size and relief pattern.
Inner workings of the player, programmed using an Arduino, RFID-reader, MIDI-player and re-purposed speaker. An RFID-reader recognizes each token and plays the sound from an SD-card.