WEARABLE PLAY

INTERACTIVE TOYS FOR CHILDREN WITH INTERACTIONS TO REPLACE SMARTPHONES

The project

An interactive soft toy that engages children in whole-body and social interaction aiming at creating a balance between the screen time and physical play. The toy functions as a key to activate new content for open-ended play experiences. After a certain time of smartphone usage, the current activity will be paused and a pop-up screen appears to be activated with the toy for receiving the instructions of a new game. Once the game is over, the user gets his/her reward and can turn back to the usage of the smartphone. 

Mihoo (Germany)

MIHOO was founded by Michaela Honauer who has a background in creating e-textiles and wearables for whole-body interactions. She holds a master’s in media art and design (M.F.A.), and applied media sciences and psychology (M.A.) and she is currently studying PhD in HCI (topic: interactive costumes). Michaela has basic knowledge in fashion design and physical computing.

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy)

Tri-lingual University, founded in 1997, offering Majors in “Design” and “Art” and a master in “Eco Social Design”.

SPELL DISAIN OÜ (Estonia)

SPELL DISAIN OÜ was founded by Dr. Kristi Kuusk, who completed her PhD thesis in 2016 on “Crafting sustainable smart textile services.” Spell has actively worked in developing e-textile prototypes and events and  launched its own Spellbound brand.

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

We (Kristi, Michaela and Secil) all knew each other from academia because of our interest with e-textiles and children related projects. These common interests brought us together to make an initiation which became the base of the Wearable Play project.
We organized a design workshop in which we role-played as we were children, discussed the emerging needs of the digital natives and mapped what kind of products can be developed for fulfilling those needs. This workshop gave rise to the project question which was answered within the Wearable Play project.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

The main question was “How can children develop a healthy level of body-awareness and social sensitivity in a technology-mediated life full of computers and digital devices?” Based on our research, and our own observations, children mostly interact with digital devices that allow them to play, learn, and communicate through a screen. This has many consequences creating issues in the wellbeing of the children, ranging from psychological, physical to social aspects. The solution for enhancing the wellbeing of this generation should not be neglecting the existence of digital technologies, on the contrary, finding ways to make them co-exist with the physical world which we perceive and experience through our body. By connecting the safe and comforting character of textiles with the dynamic properties of contemporary, digital technologies and can we create a balance between the screenbased and physical play?

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

The project followed an experimental design path combining elements from soma-aesthetic approach with user-centered design methods in which the outcome took form during the co-design process by involving the user in the very early phases of idea generation through using mock-ups and semifinished prototypes to explore bodily interactions. Our prototype “Worm-e” was inspired by the findings of these co-design processes and observations on how children play and move their body.

THE COLLABORATION:

Due to the fact that we are based in three different countries, we conducted our work remotely by using the digital communication tools to get in contact. We met frequently and remotely produced different parts of the prototype, which then put together in one place to finalize it. The collaboration was very fruitful. The prototype was not the only result of it, but we learned from each other and we enjoyed working together, which we think it would continue after this project as well. Also, we have submitted and are going to publish our shared work in two academic conferences.

THE FUTURE:

In order to bring the prototype to the market we’d need to first test the features more extensively with the target group (children). For this, we want to start with smaller pilot-groups like museums, classrooms, family focus groups, etc. Based on the tests we can develop the prototype further to achieve a market standard and to explore possibilities to make it reach different target groups. It would need several iterations like this. Also, we need to make sure to comply with safety regulations for children’s toys. In parallel we should work on optimizing the technology we use in the prototype, creating our custom-made microcontroller for the project based on the final developed features. We would need to take care of the sustainable and ethical aspects of the project, materials, use, disposal. And last but not least, we’d need to find a business partner or expertise as currently we don’t have that role covered in our team.

THE MESSAGE:

This project was a collective work. Every piece of it was thought and designed all together. What makes this project special is that the three designers caring about the wellbeing of our children put their collective creative power into a project.

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

Tagenea

Tagenea

Seamless

Seamless

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing

NO/thing

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Fresko

Fresko

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

Sense of nature

Sense of nature

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Manual bag

Manual bag

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

Sensing Color

Sensing Color

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Soft touch of industrial waste

Soft touch of industrial waste

Time of your Light

Time of your Light

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha TSUGI

Kombucha TSUGI

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

Bi-Circular Urban-Outdoor Fabric

Bi-Circular Urban-Outdoor Fabric

Step Smart

Step Smart

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Tista

Tista

Fashion Design Courses

Fashion Design Courses

Velluto

Velluto

New Matters

New Matters

RemBrandt

RemBrandt

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Smartcoat

Smartcoat

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Biolea

Biolea

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space Between

The Space Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

The light around your life

The light around your life

The Hemp Chair

The Hemp Chair

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

Spell My Name

Spell My Name

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

Planned Space Pooling

Planned Space Pooling

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

NO1R

NO1R

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Baltabalta Multifunctional Textiles

Baltabalta Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing for an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing for an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

Make and Create

Make and Create

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Second Life Bag

Second Life Bag

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair