Technology has a strange way of propagating itself into everyday life. Science, technology and biology all play a role in making human life last longer and the person who will live more than 150 years has already been born (ref). Children don’t understand life or death nor they are particularly interested in it. Toys live forever, sometimes switch sex, get ill, die or reborn. Play is an educational methodology and since our children are becoming increasingly aware of the machine world we inhabit, they are also interested in machines that keep us alive – or sometimes not.
For children, hospitals are uncomfortable and unfamiliar places, writes Hikaru Imamura, the author of Novel Hispital Toys. Examinations and operations are a cause of anxiety and fear in the little patients, and these feelings can be relieved by informing them of what to expect during their visit.
‘Novel Hospital Toys’ is a toy set consisting of toy models of machines, such as CT, X-ray, ECHO(echocardiograph), ECG (electrocardiograph), as well as picture books of explaining machines. Every toy is made so as to give light or sounds so that children can easily imagine how these ‘strange’ machines work while they are playing with them in the waiting room.
When electrode models are put on the doll, an electrocardiograph image appears on the computer monitor. In the case of X-ray, when a child bear is put on the bed, the machine gives blue light down on the body, and after pushing the button of computer, a simple image of bones appears on the display. When you put the probe on the doll, an ultrasonography-like image appears on the monitor. These are only some of the functionalities of ‘Novel Hospital Toys’.
See also The Immortal by Revital Cohen
- Drawnimal – Expanding iOS device by using simple tools like pen and paper Drawnimal aims to expand iOS device by using simple tools like pen and paper and motivate children to learn the alphabet and leave the digital screen using simple physical […]
- TSUMIKI [c++, Objects] Created by a newly formed sister company of Aircord.jp: PPP, TSUMIKI is a new series of toys that incorporate computer vision to both recognise physical blocks and project content onto them. The idea behind PPP (Permanent Play Project) is to explore new ways of “playing” for the next generation. They rearrange longtime beloved toys such as blocks to bring a whole new value to them. In TSUMIKI, various forest animals appear on the blocks according to the ways you stack them. When two sets of blocks are placed close to each other, it would be in the communication mode, where the animals greet to each other or play together. You can also play with numbers using the toy blocks. When you place the blocks in an order, a number would appear each time at random and their equation is projected on the blocks. PPP is dedicated to create “unchanging ways of playing” and “future ways of playing” through various fields including contents creation, product design, space design and more. Software to manage the projection was written in C++. OpenCV libraries help identify the objects in 3D space and respond with different visual formations and content. The setup includes the playing blocks together with similar in material housing for projector and camera. It is not clear whether the computer is contained within the same housing or whether it is something you connect to already existing PC/Mac. More at ppp.aircord.co.jp Previously on CAN: N3-D Demo - Glass prism with multiscreen iPad app makes Mobile Runner [openFrameworks, iPhone]: AR with Optoma pico ... Music Boxel [iPhone, iPad, […]
- Knock Knock – Knock interface calculator for children by Khalil Klouche Knock Knock is a playful calculator aimed at small children which allows calculation simply by knocking and will give back the answer using the same knocking […]
- Free Universal Construction Kit – a disruption aimed at the society / F.A.T. Lab Not to be confused with a product, Free Universal Construction Kit is a disruption, not aimed at kids, but at the society -- especially pundits, say the project's authors. Free Universal Construction Kit is a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. Created by F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab the kit allows any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. ..the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests. Our kids are already doing it! And when we were growing up, ourselves, we did it too—or we tried to, anyway. Connecting our toys together. Because: what if we want to make a construction which is half-Tinkertoys, half-K’Nex? Why shouldn’t we be able to? We dreamed about this possibility years ago, when we were small, and we knew then, as we know now, that we’d need some adapters to help. The advent of low-cost 3D printing has made such adapters possible, and with it, a vast new set of combinatorial possibilities for children’s creative construction toys. The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik,Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. The adapters can be downloaded from Thingiverse.com and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer). F.A.T. […]
- The Immortal – Life-support machines modified to ‘breathe’ in a closed circuit A number of life-support machines are connected to each other, circulating liquids and air in attempt to mimic a biological structure. This is an installation by Revital Cohen who modified and connected organ replacement machines together to have them 'breathe' in a closed circuit. The Immortal project investigates human dependence on electronics, the desire to make machines replicate organisms and our perception of anatomy as reflected by biomedical engineering. I first came across this installation on Régine's wmmna blog few weeks ago followed by Revital's interview by Régine on ResonanceFM. Through some considerable modifications, Revital managed to connect heart-lung machine, a dialysis machine, an infant incubator, a mechanical mentilator and an intraoperative cell salvage machine to keep each other alive through circulation of electrical impulses, oxygen and artificial blood - thus create a living machine. Salted water acts as blood replacement: throughout the artificial circulatory system minerals are added and filtered out again, the blood gets oxygenated via contact with the oxygen cycle, an ECG device monitors the system's heartbeat. As the fluid pumps around the room in a meditative pulse, the sound of mechanical breath and slow humming of motors resonates in the body through a comforting yet disquieting soundscape. The Immortal will be part of Superhuman, an exhibition exploring human enhancement that will open at the Wellcome Collection in London on July 19 and run through October 16, 2012. Project […]
- PlayART for iPad – Uniting classic art and children’s creativity Created by Tapook, PlayART is an iPad app aimed at children aiming to unite the worlds of classic art and children's creativity. Designed for children aged 5-13, but suitable for parents too, you can play with objects and shapes taken from these artists' original paintings, move, rotate and resize them however they like to make new creations, including combining elements from several or all of the painters. Five painters are included: Van Gogh, Klee, Rousseau, Monet and Cézanne. We think it's about time children were given the chance to mash up classic artworks and create their own paintings with Van Gogh's sunflowers, Monet's waterlilies and Cézanne's fruit. This way, they learn while playing and exercise their creativity. The team is currently working on the next release of the app which will feature five new artist and interactive features. Download ($3.99) | Tapook PlayArt - Trailer from Tapook on Vimeo. PlayArt - Artists from Tapook on […]
- The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella – Interactive storytelling by Nosy Crow When Mia, my daughter, was 1 she she knew how to unlock the iPhone. When she was two she was quite confident where things are and what apps she likes most. Now that is three she knows exactly what she wants on her (errgh My!) iPad and iPhone. There is always CBeebies on BBC iPlayer and of course a wide range of PeppaPig and other similar games. Let's be honest, when you child says "Can I have that one, pleeeasee", its very hard to say no. The apps for the kids market is a buoyant one and it only takes a second in search to realise how many apps are out there. 99c apps are not a problem, it is the free ones you have to be careful of since they usually include ads (much easier to click on by a 3 year old than an adult) or a button that pops up from time to time asking you to upgrade offering the additional content. So, when I come across an app for kids that costs $5.99 it does make you wonder – how good can it be? Well, they can be pretty fantastic. Nosy Crow is a reasonably new, independent company, publishing children’s books and apps. They proud themselves in publishing high-quality, commercial fiction and non-fiction books for children aged from 0 to 14 from both well-known authors and illustrators and new talent. The likes of Pip and Posy by Axel Scheffler (the author of The Gruffalo), only one of the titles from the extensive library of impeccable and beautifully illustrated books. They also like to make innovative apps for tablets, smart phones and other touchscreen devices. More importantly these apps are not existing books squashed onto phones, but instead are specially created to take advantage of the devices to tell stories and provide information to children in new and engaging ways. "Pip and Posy" was the first I downloaded for my daughter some months ago. While the app benefits from the beautiful illustration it packs some pretty interesting and intriguing features such as colouring book, matching pairs, spot the difference, jigsaw and my favourite - 'make a face' which includes camera feed to mimic faces such as angry, surprised, happy, etc. Although I prefer capturing the screen rather than photo save function (captures only the camera image) it has provided a ton of fun for my daughter and I. It's only yesterday that I stumbled across "The Three Little Pigs" and "Cinderella" by loading Pip and Posy on my (her) iPhone 5. Not only are these beautifully illustrated by the very talented Ed Bryan but in addition they also utilise parallax using the built in accelerometer and gyroscope. This is (for me) the best yet utilisation of this technique since the movements are subtle and are able to transform the whole scene into three dimensions. These are not just layered assets but also animated and some objects even change size complementing further to the 3D illusion. Of course, these are accompanied by the children voices reading the story and there are hundreds of funny character comments and interactive surprises. Even more engaging are the special features such as blowing into the microphone to blow down the pig’s houses in the "The Three Little Pigs" and in "Cindarella" seeing the camera feed in the mirrors, dressing up the Stepsisters for the party or selecting music for the Prince and Cinderella and watch them hit the dance floor. Both "The Three Little Pigs" and "Cinderella" a fantastic achievement in interactive story telling. If you have a young child, apps by Nosy Crow are a simple must. Likewise if you are an adult without a child and interested in the interactive medium as a whole, I recommend spending some time with these apps. They will provide an enriching insight into how traditional illustration, narration, animation and interactivity can beautifully come together to tell a story. AppStore links: The Three Little Pigs | Cinderella | Pip and Posy Nosy Crow […]
- Little Magic Stories [openFrameworks, Kinect] Little Magic Stories is the latest project by Chris O'Shea, with aim to encourage children to use their creativity to bring stories to life. The installation allows them to create a performance from within their imagination, on stage, in front of an audience of family and friends. Chris writes: This version This is the first version of the project to test the idea and build the system. This story about the seasons was created entirely by the children, with the interactivity in the scenes built by me. Some scenes used motion detection in zones to trigger animations, such as catching Easter eggs, squashing sand castles or launching fireworks. Body tracking and basic physics were used in other scenes. The future I am planning to use this project in workshops with groups of children to get them excited about storytelling. They will be able to use the system to create their own narratives, as well as drawing the content by hand, before performing to their friends. The system will have improved physics, dynamic animation of objects and scene animated sounds. Chris used the Musion Eyeliner holographic projection system for this project, allowing the graphics to appear to be alongside the performers. This uses a technique called Pepper’s ghost, and you can see the technical set-up here. An Xbox Kinect camera was also used to track the performers on stage. The software was custom written in C++ and used openFrameworks, openCV and Box2D. Project […]
Posted on: 21/08/2012
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