Blink: A Language of Love Through Light

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Using Physical-To-Digital Technology to Keep RMCH Families Connected During Illnesses

Children with serious illnesses often travel great distances for medical treatment, separating them from family, friends, and the daily lives they’ve come to know. Science tells us: children heal faster when they are near the ones they love. Still, finding the right words to give comfort in these moments can be a struggle. Blink is an innovative, family-centric, physical-to-digital experience that translates light into a language of love to keep families connected through trying times.

Our Approach

SapientRazorfish partnered with RMHC to create an innovative experience that helps keep families close without the need for words. The strategy also considered how technology could facilitate unconventional forms of nonverbal communication. 

The Challenge

The team was challenged to design a radical user-centric solution that would be accessible to children of all ages, taking into account physical and literacy limitations. This meant more than simply using technology such as texting or calling to communicate.


The Solution

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 during treatment. Color-coded messages are exchanged between two corresponding orbs. A shake sends a green message saying “Hello.” Two taps send a blue “Goodnight,” and three taps send a pink “I love you.” An extended online experience allows family and friends to send love directly to the child’s Blink from anywhere in the world.

Lisa Mitchell, VP, Programs and Services at RMHC, says,

When a child is alone in the hospital, Blink lights up that darkness and brings their family into the room when they physically can’t be together… something we’ve never been able to do before.




By breaking down barriers of age, language, social complexity and discomfort, Blink helps families show love and support during illness innovating for a unique human experience.

Blink was piloted with real RMHC families undergoing treatment. Families reported that Blink created a sense of connectedness during treatment and defined “connection” as an important aspect of well-being, as it creates a sense of support, caring, and love.

RMHC is interested in continuing to explore innovative, future-facing programs to better support families and help children heal. The Blink program is currently being shared with donors for potential support.

More Work


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1 Vision.