Food for thought🍿

Moving Jessy’s world & making wishes come true

November 29, 2023

In the heart of our mission to move the world and to make the world experience emotions in a way they haven’t before, D-BOX has always believed in the power of our haptic technology to transcend boundaries and create unforgettable experiences. This is why when the opportunity arose to collaborate with the Make-A-Wish | Rêves d’enfants Canada Foundation on a project for a special, brave and kind-hearted boy named Jessy, we knew it was a challenge tailor-made for us—it was a chance to extend our passion for innovation and entertainment beyond the ordinary, and a chance for us to give back to our local community, all while turning a dream into a reality! 


Alongside RSEAT—who crafted the specialized platform needed for Jessy’s wish—Jessy’s family, and the dedicated team at Make-A-Wish, we embarked on a journey with one common goal: to bring a smile to Jessy’s face. 


Keep reading to discover how together, we pushed back boundaries to prove that the magic of cinema can be felt even in the most unexpected places!  

About Jessy & his path to Make-A-Wish | Rêves d’enfants Canada

When Jessy was three years old, his mom knew that he was different from other kids.  

“He would cry and cry—more than other kids his age—and I didn't know what to do about it,” said Valérie, Jessy’s mother. 

An investigation into little Jessy’s agitation led to a diagnosis of autism. When his mother realized that he wasn’t walking as soon as he should have been, he was given a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. Today, the young man has also been diagnosed with epilepsy. 

“It’s day-by day,” explained Valérie. “We don’t know how much time we have with him so we live in the present moment.” 

After Jessy qualified to have a wish granted by the Make-A-Wish | Rêves d'enfants Canada foundation—a foundation who works with kids ages 3 to 17 whose lives are significantly impacted by illness or disability—the honour of making his wish come true was given to Annick Gagnon. She quickly realized that this wish was special wouldn’t be like any one she’s seen before! 

“We sometimes have dreams that resemble one another, such as taking a trip somewhere, but Jessy’s wish was very unique for our foundation,” she explained.  

Since Jessy is mostly nonverbal and with a family trip being out of the question due to his health, she knew her execution of his wish would be extra important. 

“The goal is never for us to just give a kid a gift,” she said. “It’s to give them something exciting to look forward to; something positive in the future. This is scientifically proven to have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of patients, which is why this wish was so important to me,” she explained. 

 When reflecting on how she could improve the quality of life of her son, Valérie turned to Jessy’s passion: movies. He loves watching them and seeing stories come to life on the screen, so she wanted to find a way to make that extra exciting for him. This is when her mind brought her to the D-BOX experiences she had tried, and she had her lightbulb moment. 

“I was like, I would love to bring that feeling to him, too,” she said. “But he can’t go to the movies.” 

And thus Jessy’s wish was officially born: to have a D-BOX motion platform custom tailored to his home and wheelchair, which would allow him to live a cinema experience in the comfort of his living room. 

Going beyond where D-BOX has ever gone before

Having never undertaken a project such as this one before, D-BOX knew it would be a challenge. 

“All we knew is that we had to find a way for a wheelchair to be able to have haptic feedback,” said Stéphane Fortier, D-BOX's Sim Racing Business Development Manager. “We didn’t know how to go about it.” 

From there, D-BOX reached out to RSEAT, a partner with whom we recently developed a universal haptic platform. With Make-A-Wish being well known in their home country of Bulgaria, they were more than happy to help.  

“We have done similar modifications to our products in the past for several disabled military veterans,” explained Hristo Gardevski, RSEAT’s CEO. “It’s a noble cause and we instantly joined to make Jessy a little happier.” 

Together, D-BOX and RSEAT collaborated on adapting and adding a ramp to their product. With Jessy’s wheelchair dimensions in hand, RSEAT was able to come up with a workable prototype for D-BOX to test! 

“That’s really their strength,” said Stéphane. “They make well-built structures, they’re master engineers.” 

Challenges along the way 

One of the things that was really important for D-BOX was to make Jessy’s platform as easy to use as possible. 

“We really wanted to facilitate the job of his parents,” said Stéphane. “We wanted to ramp to be easy to take on and off for them.” 

However, ease of use was not the only challenge that was faced along the way. 

“We’ve never had to create haptic feedback for a wheelchair user before, so safety was our top priority,” explained Jean-Martin Lizotte, D-BOX's Sales Product Owner. “We needed to make sure that the combined weight of Jessy and his wheelchair would be safely held on the long-term, without diminishing his experience. We actually went to rent a wheelchair from a local pharmacy to be able to test it and to recreate the same user conditions that Jessy would have,” he exclaimed. 

After a plethora of tests left them satisfied with the results, D-BOX and the Make-A-Wish team headed to Jessy’s home to surprise him with his custom D-BOX experience on October 6 2023! 

Making a dream come true

While the platform was being installed in his living room, the excitement was growing for both Jessy and his mother. 

“This means so much to our family,” said Valérie. “With this, he’ll be more willing to stay in the living room with us at night and spend time with us on his platform. I can’t wait to see him use it.” 

The excitement was contagious and once Jessy was in his chair and on his platform, everyone was as mesmerized by his enjoyment as he was by the experience. 

“We weren’t really sure how he was going to react, so it was extremely touching to see his positive reaction and his smile,” said Jean-Martin. “He wanted to watch so many movies. It just confirms that D-BOX really can make people live emotions through haptics.” 

With his platform installed and with Jessy smiling on it, gone are the days where he’ll simply watch movies—as of now, he’ll become part of them. 

A project aligned with D-BOX's ESG values

At D-BOX, our commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) values is not just a corporate mantra; it's ingrained in our DNA. The smiles from Jessy as he experienced his first haptic movies reminded everyone why we do what we do! 

"D-BOX brings people joy,” said David Montpetit, D-BOX's Chief Financial Officer. “We’re always looking for ways to bring that experience to those who can't necessarily have it the normal way,” he explained. 

Grounded in D-BOX's values of collaboration, community giving, respect and social inclusivity, making Jessy’s wish come true aligned perfectly with our ESG mission—and our general mantra.  

“For us, ESG isn’t just a box to check off—it's a guiding philosophy that drives us to bring joy, to make dreams come true, and to bring a sense of community to every corner of the world,” explained David. “When we saw that sparkle in Jessy’s eyes, we knew we had accomplished our mission here.”    

Looking to the future

Our commitment to giving back won’t stop here. 

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but there’s more to be done,” said David. “On a commercial level, this wish proved to us that we can bring the D-BOX experience to reduced mobility moviegoers in cinemas. It proved that our technology could help people better integrate into society,” he explained. 

Jean-Martin echoed David’s thoughts. “This opens the door to multiple projects and innovations that can improve the quality of life of someone living with a handicap,” he said. “For example, D-BOX can help someone who is visually impaired to better understand the movies they go see.” 

Being a small company, we know that we won’t change the world alone. However, we work with fantastic partners who allow us to have big dreams of our own—and we’re committed to making them come true.  

Read more about D-BOX's ESG initiatives

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