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IoT! Larissa's TTTW

IoT! Larissa's TTTW

by l.nietner | updated May 10, 2016

The Internet of Toys is real! I'm hoping to make an app to access tiny microcontrollers from your phone! I picked the LightBlue Bean (Punchthrough) because it is tiny and comes with a battery installed.

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More app-making activities! Here I install Cocoapods (a library-manager for iOS app development) and the Beam Framework (beware: I didn't to the Bridge Header yet!) 

This is to install some classes and functions that are needed.

April 4, 2016 at 7:46 PM
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Priorities! Nothing works yet, but I'm designing away on the load screen.

April 4, 2016 at 10:42 PM
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A few years ago, a good friend had a great idea for a toy: A wand that you could use to manipulate things in your room. Back then, there was no inexpensive way to make such a thing.

Since, Disney Research, IT companies and others have invested a great deal into making things like this a reality.

I found this very inspiring. This is what I want to take as an example for my project this semester.

April 4, 2016 at 11:17 PM
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Exciting to see so much progress on the prototyping side. Curious to know what sorts of interactions you envision kids having with the bean and magic wand. Are you thinking that the phone is the "wand"?
8 months ago
I really like the wand + mobile phone idea! I wonder what type of things the wand could control. What about magic spells? Also, have you heard of the new toy Moff? http://www.moff.mobi/ It's a wearable device that acts like a wand (sort of) for activating sounds!
8 months ago

This is just to create the project in Xcode. Nothing works yet! This is just creating the project with some basic settings.

April 4, 2016 at 11:20 PM
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The "LightBlue Bean" (let's call it Bean) is a tiny microcontroller that's Bluetooth-programmable from a phone.

I'm thinking, if I make an app to manipulate this device, this could be a fun toy. Like a magic wand!

April 4, 2016 at 11:24 PM
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Making an app is hard - so I made prototypes from cardboard and stickers! I'll admit that it's not quite as tinkerable as what I had in mind. But maybe it's a start!

April 25, 2016 at 10:03 PM
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Did you have any new insights into what would make it more tinkerable? How did the kids react to the stickers and cardboard?
8 months ago
You can see some reactions in my playtesting video! Which questions do you think would be worth answering? I have a lot of footage to go through and I'm not 100% sure what my goals should be and how to best present results :)
8 months ago

The MIT Museum gave me the opportunity to present my cardboard prototypes at the Cambridge Science Festival! I had my own booth! Check this out!

April 25, 2016 at 10:06 PM
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Can you say more about what you were testing? What is the foam tree for?
8 months ago
Hey! The tree was decoration and they don't interact with it - sorry it was right in the picture, but I guess it concealed the GoPro well. I wanted kids / teens to come up with ideas for what they would want to build and see what information they use to get inspired.
I have almost 4 hours of footage and almost 40 ideas (inventions), so the question would be what to analyze it for or how to portray / present it. Do you have an idea for that?
Thank you!
8 months ago
That's great that you have so much footage. Personally, I would be interested in seeing two things: 1) categorizations of what the 40 different ideas were, and 2) differences in the strategies that people used to create them.

One approach would be to grab screenshots of all of the inventions the children came up with and begin to organize them and see what categories emerge. Then, using the Video footage above, you can see the types of interactions that led to these ideas. For example, were the kids working independently, or with a parent / sibling? How long did it take for them to come up with their ideas? Were there particular strategies you found helpful for supporting their ideation?

Excited to learn more!
8 months ago
These are interesting questions!
I can't track back exactly who came up with what (except for a handful that I personally remember), but I'll go down that path and see how far I get!
Thank you!!
8 months ago

This is for the inclusion lecture.

When I was a kid, LEGO Belville was a thing. It was a dream in pink. With horses. I loved it. It had girls on the packaging - a rarity with LEGO in the past 20 years!

Fortuitously, LEGO Technic was also a thing. Figures were the exact same size as my LEGO Belville girls. So obviously, when my brother and I played, we would completely intermix the two. 

I would not have played LEGO Technic by myself. It was very clearly meant for boys. When I was a kid, I liked to shift all sorts of paradigms and come up with new stuff. However, I very much identified as a girl, and the boys' "action" stuff just didn't appeal to me. Especially, when there's only boys on the packaging. LEGO didn't even have a single female figure in the Technic products (at least the ones my brother had) - how humiliating to a girl like me! By contrast, when I look at the pastel pink and mint and light grey in pink-themed LEGOs, this makes me feel super warm inside like my hopes and dreams were made of these colors before I even knew who I wanted to grow up to be.

May 2, 2016 at 10:45 PM
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This idea came out of a discussion with my critique group. Joanna suggested using https://www.invisionapp.com

After all, this is the internet of toys!

Stay tuned!

May 3, 2016 at 2:06 PM
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Thank you for this! I've always wondered if there was something like that out there, and thanks to you now I know!
8 months ago

http://www.immersiveyouthmarketing.com/blog/gen-z-is-buying-authenticity.-how-lokai-bracelets-emot - I found this really interesting - it's a bracelet, it looks like it's just for girls, but the 14 year old customer emphasizes:

"... The bracelets themselves are trendy and unisex, so why can’t everyone have one? That’s why Lokai bracelets are doing it right-- they know how to please, they have a nice message, and they give back. It’s all we ask in a person, in a bracelet instead!"

Reading about Gen Z, it is clear: They don't want to be sold to.

Maybe this also means: They don't what you to tell them you target them with your product. They want to own it ... So meet all their needs for aesthetics, but never say that it's for girls?

May 3, 2016 at 2:15 PM
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After today's discussion: Would you agree that you need a target person (e.g. 8 year old boy), but whenever you talk about your product you say: It's for everyone ?
I feel like maybe this is super common sense, I just never thought about it.
8 months ago

This is still the cardboard stage. But I'm super impressed with some of the ideas that the kids came up with.

The diabetes thing was the idea of a 9 year old girl. The stress thing was the idea of a 14 year old girl. I think they are just so great!

Question
Do you think that the Wearable aspect is a restriction that makes sense or maybe not? What effect does it have?
May 10, 2016 at 12:38 AM
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May 10, 2016 at 10:03 AM
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