Evocative Experiences in the Design of Objects to Encourage Free-Play
In the near future technologies will be even more present in every day objects, which should add a playful value for children, to make use of their natural interest to play while being socially and physically active. We have moved towards this direction by building on free-play experiences identified through a face-to-face ethnographical study conducted over 4 months. The study shows that, beyond the increase of screen based entertainment, children have scarce opportunities for free-play (leading to them being more sedentary). Moreover during free play, they combine the interest of an individual activity, with a personal challenge, while collaborating and competing. Based on these findings we propose augmenting accessories with sensor systems giving feedback while doing specific body challenges. We have developed and tested two prototypes based on this concept: shoes that blink while jumping and a fanny pack that blinks while moving.
Keywordsfree-play social skills motor skills multi-experiences ubiquitous augmented technologies
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