Over the course of the last two weeks, I spent many hours trying to come up with a good idea.
Mass/weight childrens game
An initial idea was to use sensors/scales to have an interactive game where children had to use different items with differing weight and mass to match the game prompt, i.e. put 5 kg on the scales to make sure the animal can reach the top of the cliff. This would require the user to utilise math and physics to accurately problem solve, e.g. one item would be small and weigh 3 kg whereas another would be big and only weigh 2 kg. The purpose/rationale of this interaction would be to teach children problem solving whilst exploring math and physics.
I found this idea was lacking in novel interactivity, and so I wanted to have more instant system feedback/visual response. I also felt that the concept might not appeal to children as it would be too monotonous of a task flow.
Responsive shopping bags
This idea revolved around having shopping bags that would respond to what the user would put in the bag. For instance, it could sensor the temperature of the products/produce as it was added to the shopping bag and adjust the temperature accordingly to reduce temperature fluctuation from e.g. the store to the fridge. Furthermore, the shopping bags could change colour in response to how healthy the food or quantity is if the user wanted to become more aware of their food habits/intake.
I found this idea to be lacking in interactivity and playfulness, and hence I stopped iterating on this. As I came up with this idea, I found myself too restricted to come up with playful interactions. My scope was limited to what I have already seen exist as I was concerned with the idea of possibly having to deploy and create the concept. To expand my scope, I tried to look at online resources to find unconventional interactions.
Solar panel wearable
This idea revolved around behaviour change through positive/negative reinforcement. The concept was to have some solar panel wearable that would reward sun safety and punish irresponsible sun exposure. The solar panel could be embedded into a wearable item, e.g. a sun hat, and have a practical use as reward such as for instance charging devices or powering a music speaker. When the user had spent too much time in the sun or needed to reapply sunscreen (around 2 hours) they would be punished by disrupting the reward and possibly vibrating as a notification. The rationale of the idea was to raise awareness around sun safety and initiate behaviour change/nudge using technology.
As with the other ideas, I did not find the concept sufficiently playful. Additionally, I was unsure of the effect the positive/negative reinforcement would have as the lack of functionality when the user had exceeded the recommended time of sun exposure. I believe most users would find the negative reinforcement as more than a slight annoyance but rather a motive to discontinue using the device.
Butterfly colour game
This idea was inspired by the teamLab Borderless museum I visited in Tokyo as previously outlined in my journal. The concept was to have users creating different colours by applying pressure to pressure pads in the three primary colours. The system would prompt the users and/or display the colour to mix, and the user would then have to use their hands to apply the correct pressure to the pad(s) to correctly mix the colour. The pressure would correlate to how intense/dark the colour is displayed, e.g. light pressure would be a lighter colour and more pressure would be a more vibrant or darker colour. To add an element of playfulness and achievement, I wanted the colour mixed to be displayed on still butterflies which would ‘come alive’ through animation once the user satisfactorily mixed the colour. The rationale of the idea was to teach children/adults colour theory whilst training fine motor skills. Alternatively, it could simply be used as a creative outlet where users could play with colour.
Out of the ideas I had in the ideation stage, I found this to be the most fitting response to the brief. Furthermore, I found this to be the concept I was the most motivated to work on and further develop/iterate. I think the idea of seeing immediate visual responses to the physical interaction would be an open-ended, playful interaction that would be interesting to see created. I ended up favouring and presenting this idea, and I am eager to read and reflect on given feedback to further iterate on the idea.