Book app to bring magic to hospitalized kids

Posted at 6:07 AM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 07:56:49-05

A Michigan startup is teaming up with one local hospital to help create a magical experience for young patients. 

SpellBound is an app that uses augmented reality technology to create a virtual pop-up book from ordinary story pages.

For the animations to come to life, a user must open the app and point their smartphone toward the book, according to the product's website. 

The team that created SpellBound won Startup Weekend Detroit in 2014 and is now partnering with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

One of the SpellBound co-founders, Christina York, tells 7 Action News they are working with child life specialists to get the technology into hospital rooms.

Their aim is to normalize the hospital experience for the kids, and to give them some magic as a pleasant distraction.

In the next two weeks, the special app and one of the paired books will be introduced at Mott.

"We are really excited," said York. "Even a few minutes of magic where they can escape the world...they can have moments of joy and be a kid again."

York says they are interested in working with other local hospitals, too, to help children enjoy books in a new and creative way.

The Ann Arbor-based startup, ALTality, is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo to help with the SpellBound project.

The app works with Android and iOS devices. Right now, the SpellBound "magic" is compatible with two books. We're told at least five more book pairings are in the works.

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