System Proposal for Outdoor Playgrounds
In the age of technology, humans are addicted to mediums of technology and immobilized by virtual environments. Even next generations are born in this technological scenarios which require an attempt to make children to experience a proper environment for a better future. The inspiration of "Smartpark" is the hybridization of technological developments and conventional social outdoor play patterns.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
A new approach to play patterns of children by experiencing playgrounds through technology makes Smartpark distinguished. The main point of this project is technology related lack of social interactions and physical exercises which are essential for the development of children. The project idea is based on using technology as a medium that affords to socialize both in real and virtual environments by securing children. The system is consisted of the wristband and 4 different ensampled toys.
The wristband records activities and keeps track of children. By this way, system gives point, which is collected to participate events, as reinforcement to encourage children outdoor playing as much as being able to prevent kidnapping cases by tracking position system which is the main concern of parents who prefer to accompany children to parks for this apprehension.
The playground toys are ensampled as 4 different toys and 2 different pointing system. King of the Hill (#2) has a task-based score system and the task is able to get to the top. It has a climbing bed made from fabric whic has elasticity makes it harder to climb. Jumper (#4) has a task-based score system as well and the task is jumping where the light turn on. After completing the circle player racks up. Umbrella (#3) and Groundshake (#3) has a time-based score system. Child gains points according to the time he/she continues activity. Score system increases the points if two or more children participate to the games connected to the difficulty of games and social manners.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Smartpark, as multi-tasking system, divide into two subsystems that each of them has specific users. Firstly, the interaction is occured between children, playground and wristband. Everytime a task achieved on the playground, the player racks up and gather the points by wristband. The latter is about security. By track system, parents are able to observe their children through interface.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Project started summer 2014 and it is still on progress.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Smartpark consists of hardware and software. Hardware involve wristband with RF unit and toys which have RF readers as well. Software is an application that provides an interface for tracking the child and controlling points gathered. System connects parents through the app. Parents can track activitity records with the app and childs can spend gathered points by wristband. The main technology applied to this project is RF tracking technology and also smart phones are parts of interaction. While the wristband is made of silicon and RF unit, the materials of playground differ in each toy.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
King of the Hill : 900cm diameter and 250cm height for blue; 600cm diameter and the 200cm height for green; 400cm diameter and the 150cm height for red
Groundshake: 70cm diameter
Umbrella: 160cm diameter and 150cm height
Jumper: 55cm diameter for each unit with different heights; unit dimensions are 6mx6m
Playground, Mobile app, Tracking, Child Security, Fun
The interviews and observation about play patterns of children are documented. Also the observation is supported by survey that aim to gather data about the manner of parents about playgrounds. %67 of participants state that the time of children spending at playgrounds is less than 3 hours weekly and at this time % 43 of parents prefer indoor playgrounds with guardians. %90 of parents accompany their childrens themselves. These can be interpreted as there is a real security problem about playgrounds related to kidnapping. These concerns effect the children’s uses of outdoor playgrounds and cause a great spare time spending through digital devices in homes. To break this self sufficient system, technology is reversed and positioned from being an obstacle to the solution both for encouragement of outdoor play and prevention of security problems.
The constraint of Smartpark is about funding. The conventional playgrounds are not appropriate for this system and these public spheres should be build in a new way which is dependent on capital and local governments.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Nimet Basar Kesdi and Hatice S. Aydın
Nimet Basar Kesdi & Hatice S. Aydın, 2014.