Wednesday, October 19, 2011

UIST 2011 Student Innovation Contest

When it finally came time for the Student Innovation Contest, our poster and game board were ready to go and our demo was working!!  This was very exciting because we had come with expectations that everything would break and things would go wrong, but everything seemed to be going well.  I was nervous before beginning, but when it started I became really excited to share the project and I realized I knew what I was talking about!! (Thank you Consuelo for preparing us!!).

For our project, my team, Wendy & Michelle, and I made an interactive game board titled "Where's Bo Peep?".  We hid the Microsoft TouchMouse inside of a stuffed sheep that we made a finger puppet.  By performing normal sheep movements, such as looking left and right around objects or looking inside something, the user actually was performing gestures on the TouchMouse that we interpreted and reacted to with audio.  The overall goal of the game was to help the sheep find Bo Peep.  The user navigated around the game board by moving the sheep (mouse) and gesturing at "hotspots" around the board.  One scenario is the user could make the sheep look inside the cave by sticking its head inside, which would cause the user to gesture forward.  Following the gesture there would be an audio response reflecting whether or not Bo Peep was inside the cave.  When Bo Peep is at a location, she responds.  When Bo Peep is not at a location, the narrator responds and encourages the user to continue looking for her.  Having a narrator propagates the idea of the user creating their own story!

One of the main goals of our project was to be creative in the way we used the mouse and to inspire creativity and social interaction in children.  The target audience of "Where's Bo Peep?" is elementary school aged children.  The game encourages the kids to have social interaction with each other by responding with audio output, which allows them to have eye contact with each other and does not force them to continuously look at the game board because it does not visually change.

Overall, telling everyone who was interested about our project was a very exciting and exhausting experience.  We also met a lot of people and hopefully have made some lasting connections!

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