Former U-M football star and Super Bowl champion Charles Woodson to make a permanent home at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

New 3D technology brings Woodson, a long-time Mott supporter, to life in new hospital lobby

Among the surprises in store for the families and patients scheduled to move to the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital this December is an appearance by football star Charles Woodson.

With the help of “3D Woodson,” a new mobile app custom made for Mott, Woodson can be brought to life by any Mott visitor with an iPad or iPhone.  The technology behind the app, called augmented reality, has never been used in a healthcare setting before.


Once visitors have downloaded and launched the app, they can point their device at a special image of a Woodson jersey hung in the lobby. This image, called a marker, causes a life-sized 3D image of Woodson wearing a maize and blue jersey to immediately appear on their screen.

The app overlays the 3D portrait of Woodson on the image captured by the user’s mobile camera. Using the marker, the app calculates where the virtual Woodson would be standing, allowing the user to view him from different angles as if he were actually there.

Visitors can photograph their friends standing alongside the football star in various poses, including the famous Heisman pose.

“I truly believe that the work they do here at Mott is special; they’ve been doing it for a long time and will continue to in this beautiful new building,” Woodson says. “I want to be part of that future, and this technology is one way to ensure I remain connected to Mott in some way.”

The app, available now for download by searching for “3D Woodson” in the App Store on your iPad or iPhone, allows these photos to then be shared on Facebook or sent through email.

The most commonly seen form of augmented reality is in sports broadcasting, where computer generated lines are placed on top of a live football field to symbolize the first-down line. The 3D Woodson app uses a similar technology customized to work on mobile devices.

This is the first time this technology will appear in a children's hospital and one of the first instances where it has been used to augment realistic 3D humans.

Behind the scenes look at the making of the 3D Woodson app:

While the Woodson app is not animated, other augmented reality apps depict cartoon characters appearing to come to life on top of an otherwise lifeless setting.

“When a child scans their iPad over an otherwise normal-looking mural on a wall, a hidden world populated by cartoon characters could come to life and interact with them,” says Carlson Bull, Founder and Executive Creative Director of Bully! Entertainment, which developed the app for Mott.

“We're excited about introducing this technology into a children's healthcare setting,” Bull says. “There are enormous opportunities for developing augmented reality games with the nurses and physicians of Mott that encourage children to meet their goals for recovery.”

Nurses can suggest that children walk to the end of a hallway and use an iPad to unlock a cartoon character that praises them for their hard work.

In the future, these augmented reality characters could also be used to deliver age-appropriate health tips or explain to children what they may expect prior to undergoing complex procedures, Bull suggests.

Mott is currently working on incorporating more of this technology into the new hospital.

Experience the 3D Woodson app at the Public Open House,  10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun., Nov. 6, 2011 at the new hospital.   Click here for additional information.


About the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital:
The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in the U.S. News Media Group’s 2011 edition of "America’s Best Children’s Hospitals" including third in the country for heart and heart surgery. In December, the hospital moves to a new 1.1 million square feet, $754 million state-of-the-art facility that will be home to cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.

About Bully! Entertainment:
Bully! Entertainment is an award-winning, creative content and development studio located in the heart of Baltimore, MD. Focused on character and storytelling, Bully!'s team of artists, designers, animators, and developers work across all forms of media to deliver high-production value engagements for the broadcast, desktop, mobile and print worlds. Bully!'s experience ranges from developing games for PBSKids and Discovery Channel, commercials for GEICO and Toyota, animated shorts for Nickelodeon, web experiences for NASA, and mobile augmented reality experiences for VW and Ford.

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