MusicTongue: Tongue-Training Game + Arcade

National Taipei University of Technology + Taipei Medical UniversityTaiwan

Disrupting, Empowering

Production / Student




MusicTongue is a tongue-training game App designed for middle-aged and elderly people. The purpose of the training is to retard the decline of mouth function, reduce the risk of choking and improve the quality of life of the elderly. The game can be played on phone or tablets, and through image recognition technology, the game can identify whether the player’s current mouth movements are correct through the front camera; the movements during training are designed by nursing experts according to the 《Dysphagia Care Manual》 of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan; the rules of MusicTongue are similar to “Just Dance”, players will do the training action with the music. After the game is finished players will be able to check the leaderboard and view their exercise records on the main screen.From the reaction time and correct movement rate, elders can see if they have improved.
In order to meet the needs of elderly residents who live in long-term care facilities or are not familiar with the operation of cell phones, we designed a nostalgic game machine version of MusicTongue using cardboard boxes, the operation is the same, but the screen is larger and two people can play together, so that the environment immediately becomes a nostalgic game room.

Project Description

Problem :Dysphagia is a common problem in older adults associated with natural aging or brain damage, causing difficulty in eating and swallowing, and may even pose a risk of aspiration pneumonia and increase the cost of care and medical treatment. According to statistics, 40% of seniors have swallowing problems, and the percentage of seniors living in care facilities is even higher at 63%, making improving the swallowing health of seniors an urgent issue for an aging global society.

Research Process:We work with five relevant experts E1 ~ E5 in the fields of nursing, speech therapy, assistive device design and image recognition engineering. Experts E1 and E2 designed our game with five oral training movements from A1 to A5 according to the 《Dysphagia Care Manual》. Through an interview of seniors(6 people), we identified music games as the most promising game topic. After confirming the game theme, four design iterations were conducted, the first prototype using the Gamepad method (6 person) , the second prototype use the Wizard of Oz method;the third was a technical prototype that could already be used for image recognition, 36 healthy people aged 45-75 were recruited to fill in the Usability , Cognitive load, and Flow scales after playing the game. 79 points were scored on the SUS scale, an improvement of 20 points compared to the second prototype test, and the total average score of the UEQ-S questionnaire was 1.91 ( excellent).

Solution:MusicTongue is a tongue-training game designed to retard the decline of mouth function, using image-recognition technology to allow seniors to train their tongue muscles through the front camera of mobile devices. The game software will match six types of training actions from A1~A5 according to the beats of the music to produce a game level, so MusicTongue can be played by seniors of different ethnic groups.After the game finished ,app will show exercise record and leaderboard, and whether they have made progress. To meet the needs of nursing home residents, we designed the Arcade Version, which operates with the larger screen and can be played by two people, turning the parlor into a nostalgic(nos-ta-gic) game room.

Social impact & Opportunity :In summary, MusicTongue gives more than 600 million seniors around the world the opportunity to practice oral training in a new, low-cost, fun way that slows the rate of mouth function decline, reduces the risk of coughing during eating and swallowing, reduces medical and care expenses, makes oral training as valued as jogging and fitness, and improves the quality of life of seniors by generating more social interaction among family members and facilities residents through game!


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