Blue skies for senior living

Having a room with a view is healthy, and one company’s view has just gotten a lot more realistic.

The Sky Factory, Fairfield, Iowa, is known for its backlit image panels that mimic windows, providing the illusion of the sky and scenery for interior spaces. Now the company is launching a series of moving digital images in full 4K cinematography.

The first offerings, showcased at this month’s annual American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living conference in Nashville, Tennessee, include a virtual aquarium, sky views that include moving clouds and trees that sway in the breeze, and landscapes that include crashing waves, waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets. The video scenes, photographed with advanced digital cinema cameras, last for hours without repeating and incorporate sound, if desired.

Next, the company plans to launch circadian adaptive lighting in its panels, allowing the viewer to experience day and night.

Biophilia, or the study of how humans connect with the nature around them, holds that natural environments improve people’s well-being mentally and physically. Biophilic interior design has shown that scenery and natural elements like animals and birds have a positive effect on the human psyche, even if they are illusions—much like the way a greenhouse imitates a tropical environment or an aquarium imitates an ocean reef.

“We’re already starting to apply the moving scenery to the rehabilitation setting,” said Cynthia Higgins, director of business development for The Sky Factory. Now, residents can feel like they’re wandering through a lush woodland or combing the beach while they’re doing their physical therapy on the treadmill or exercise bike. “It improves compliance and reduces stress.”


Topics: Design