Playware: playground for tangible interactions
Playware is a cool project about tangible interactions for kids. It's carried out by Henrik Hautop Lund and Carsten Jessen (Maersk Institute, University of Southern Denmark and The Danish University of Education). The point of their project is to engage kids in physical activities instead of letting them in front of a (tv) screen through the embodiment of interaction in tangible material. Go check this technical report for more details. They designed an augmented play ground which rocks! the playground is actually meant to support various games:
We implemented different games on the tangible tiles and analysed children’s physical play on the tiles in continuous use for 2 months at a school in Denmark (Tingager Skolen, Denmark). In one of the games, colour race, children compete against each other (more children can play in groups) by first choosing a colour (either blue or red) and then in a hurry jump on the tiles so they turn into their colour. Another example is a tangible version of the computer game Pong where a red arrow moves around randomly and when it gets to one side of the tiles configuration, a child has to step on the tile quickly, to return the arrow to the opponent. The arrow can move to one of the connected neighbours. The wicked witch game is an extension, which uses PDAs and WiFi localization to provide story lines and guidance for the children’s play.
Our goal with the prototype was to investigate whether children would accept the tiles as play equipment and whether these very simple tangible games actually would initiate physical and social play. We observed children playing indoor and outdoor on the tangible tiles and on ordinary playgrounds to investigate play and games activities. Children’s interaction with the tangible tiles was continuously video recorded and analyzed over the 2 months period in the Danish school.
Why do I blog this? I am looking forward to know more about the results/description of what happened in terms of how children used this playground, accepted it and had fun.