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Softkinetic and Silverfit Introduce Senior-Targeted Gaming Platform

Motion-sensing software developer Softkinetic has announced a partnership with the Dutch company SilverFit to produce an exercise-oriented game system targeted at adults aged 65 and up.
Softkinetic, the Belgium-based developer of the motion-sensing iisu technology and middleware, has announced a partnership with the Dutch company SilverFit to produce a game system targeted at adults aged 65 and up. The Silverfit system -- a console-like platform that includes a motion-sensing camera and several built-in games -- features a variety of exercises and fitness programs for seniors, including physical therapy applications for those who have recently suffered accidents or strokes. The system was developed in collaboration with Dutch physiotherapists. Silverfit systems are currently being installed at senior care centers and retirement communities in the Netherlands. Early reaction from users has been positive. Employees at the Netherlands-based Groenhuysen care center noted that in addition to providing resident seniors with exercise, the system fostered an encouraging social atmosphere and inspired friendly high score competitions. SilverFit co-founder Joris Wiersinga feels that the system offers a friendlier alternative to other video game consoles, which can prove overwhelming to seniors. "Most fitness videogames are developed for the younger generation, typically on video game consoles like the Wii, but for seniors these games are too busy or too aggressive," he says. "In our games the player can pick virtual pieces of a puzzle at their own pace simply by standing up from their chair or leaning to the sides." Wiersinga continues: "By using Softkinetic’s 3D gesture technology players do not need to hold anything or know anything about computers. They simply play the games by moving in front of the camera." Silverfit systems will be available for health professionals and specialized fitness centers to purchase in January 2009. Softkinetic notes that following expansion throughout the Netherlands, the Silverfit system is planned for release in the rest of Europe and North America.

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