Immersive Entertainment for Hospitalized Kids

AT&T Foundry Palo Alto


Design Leader, VR Developers, Non-profit

Design Leader

As an Innovation Lead at the AT&T Foundry, I worked on applying emerging technologies to make the world a better place. I led a technology for good project to create immersive entertainment experiences for children in hospitals as a form of distraction therapy, through collaboration with Quantum Interface (technology startup) and the Melodic Caring Project (nonprofit).

AT&T is transforming into both an Entertainment and Telecommunications company. Projects such as this highlight the need for a strong 5G use case where there is a need for high throughput and bandwidth to support a quality experience for users. By applying emerging technologies like Virtual Reality to real-life problems, we are able to solve business needs, uncover new markets, and help change lives.


As part of AT&T’s Innovators Video Series, my project and I were featured in a video and top article on the AT&T homepage and social media pages. It was a huge honor to have my creation recognized as one of the most innovative initiatives in the company and to be called out as someone who plays the role of “the Spark” in driving innovation.


In 2016, I initiated and spearheaded our exploration of the Augmented and Virtual Reality market to propose strategic business plays for AT&T and Ericsson. As I engaged with our ecosystem, I discovered two amazing companies, each experts in their own field — one a technology company specializing in virtual reality and custom interfaces (Quantum Interface) and the other, a nonprofit that streams concerts to children in hospitals (Melodic Caring Project).

It occurred to me that if I connected Quantum Interface’s next generation, interactive interface for 3D experiences together with a 360 virtual reality video of Melodic Caring Project’s live streaming of personalized concerts to hospitalized kids, we could create something truly memorable. So, we did just that.

Amos Lee Concert being recorded backstage in 360 degrees for Immersive Entertainment for Hospitalized Kids

Live Streaming

After introducing everyone, the project took off immediately! Quantum Interface brought in SubVRsive to make the Virtual Reality capture a reality, and Melodic Caring Project brought in singer-songwriter Amos Lee and team as the content creators at the core of this experience. Together, the team used the magic of 360 live streaming to transport hospitalized children to an Amos Lee concert experience that they could share with their loved ones as they received encouragement from near and far!

Our partners were pivotal in making our live stream a success. Fresh off this achievement, we quickly moved on to the next step — building an interactive, immersive experience.

“Watching the concert as a VR show completely swept Maya away. She was feeling badly from recent chemo and having the glasses and the 360 experience took her away from the yuck that she had been feeling.”

– Maya’s father

VR Virtual Reality 360 Video Amos Lee Concert Experience for Maya

Hands-free, Interactive Experience

After the live stream, our team created a post-produced 360 experience with an interactive layer on top of this recorded concert. Children are not only able to be immersed in the concert, but also can interact with the environment and control playback using only small head movements, all completely hands-free! This is huge for patients who may not just be confined to their care facilities, but may also be bedridden or tethered to medical equipment with limited mobility.

Immersive Entertainment for Hospitalized Kids Poster

Instructions for Immersive Entertainment for Hospitalized Kids

AT&T Shape Conference attendees enjoying the Immersive Entertainment for Hospitalized Kids

Testing the Experience

We have been fortunate enough to share our interactive experience with countless viewers both inside and outside of hospitals, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

With the Melodic Caring Project’s network, we were able to test with patients around the country. We learned that patients often do not engage with the experience upright, so we worked with Quantum Interface to iterate and develop the ability to calibrate the orientation for users.

We also brought the experience to AT&T’s Shape event at the Warner Brother’s Studio Lot in LA. We had hundreds of viewers test out our system and got great feedback on how to improve the gestural natural interface.

Quantifying the Impact

We started by collecting anecdotal evidence that we are helping patients escape from the discomfort of their hospital rooms. Then, we transitioned into quantifying the impact our immersive entertainment experience is providing as distraction therapy.

With the use of quantifiable biometric sensors and qualitative surveys, we are able to correlate the two to assess how effective this experience is as distraction therapy and what factors are necessary to build an effective distraction therapy experience.

Streaming a Catalog of Content

As we widened our audience reach, we also expanded the catalog of content accessible within our video player. Using AWS, we are built a repository of content pieces that a user can draw upon. Patients are able to navigate hands-free through a library of options to suit their needs, whether it be a desire for an outdoor adventure to a relaxing meditation by the fire.

“Music is a celebration of life. Musicians have such a unique, magical ability that deeply moves people. We live in a time and place that needs this energy more than ever. Especially the kids that Melodic Caring Project works closely with. Levi, Stephanie [Ware] and crew are world class. We look forward to supporting their process and helping them tell that story.”

– Amos Lee

Amos Lee on stage during the concert for Immersive Entertainment for Hospitalized Kids