Blink is the digital articulation of the Ronald McDonald House Charity mission brought to life through technology.
Children with serious illnesses often need to travel great distances for necessary medical treatment. This separates them from family, friends and the day-to-day life they know. For these families, Ronald McDonald House Charities offer a home away from home near the child’s treatment facility to keep these families together.
Science has proven that children heal faster when near the ones they love. The simple truth is, love heals.
But in stressful times of healing, expressing love is not always easy. Separated from their child overnight or during treatment, parents find themselves at a loss for words. We wondered, what if we could use technology to keep families close without needing any words at all?
Blink is an innovative physical-to-digital experience that keeps families connected. This custom-built set of devices gives families an unspoken language of love through light during moments of separation and anxiety.
Triggered by gestures, color-coded messages are exchanged between two orbs.
Blink impacts two harsh realities that families of seriously ill children face: 1) Necessary separation from their child at night or during treatment, and 2) A struggle to communicate and find words of comfort during stressful times.
By breaking down barriers of age, language, social complexity and discomfort, Blink simplifies the act of showing love and support during illness.
A simple, easy-to-remember language is at the heart of this idea. Shaking one Blink sends the corresponding orb a green-illuminated message saying “Hello.” Two taps send a blue-hued “Good Night,” and three taps send a glowing pink “I love you.”
To extend Blink beyond the two connected orbs, we created an online experience that allows extended family and friends to send love directly to the child’s Blink from anywhere in the world.
Blink was piloted with real Ronald McDonald House families. They reported that the device was easy to use and created a sense of connectedness while undergoing treatment; a critical aspect of their well-being. They felt Blink was a positive addition to their stay the house and would recommend its use for other families of sick children.