AudiCom (Audio Game Community) is a one-year project funded by netidee. Our objective is to create a web application that is both an audio game editor and that also includes a platform for sharing custom made audio games. That is, we aim to offer a browser-based application, where audio games can be built as well as shared among community members. 

From a more global perspective, our goal ist to make audio games more popular. 

- Audio games are a special genre of computer games that are played with hearing instead of (primarily) vision as with the widely-spread genre of video games. This opens audio games to a broad audience of players. Both people with normal as well as impaired vision can enjoy the experience of playing non-visual games based on sound. Players usually enjoy audio games with their eyes closed in a relatively quiet environment to be able to immerse themselves in the experience of the game.

Project webpage: www.audicom.at

Read More: AudiCom (2019)

 

LightSight is a new interactive toy for children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) that we built in the course of the Schaukasten project. To be precisely, the device was created by the three Master students Hana, Konstantin, and Niloufar who could use this as an exercise and to get an certificate for a course named 'Building Interaction Interfaces'. Children affected by CVI face different challenges in their perception and processing of information, and it is important to provide them with appropriate tools to train their vision skills and related competencies. To address this need, a tangible and illuminated dice was designed by Hana, Konstantin, and Niloufar. The dice wirelessly communicates with a game running on a tablet (dice and game together form LightSight). This concept should provide a playful way for the children to train their vision and a range of related motor and cognitive skills (e.g. manipulating the device with their hands, learning shapes etc.).

Read More: LightSight (from Project 'Schaukasten' 2017-2018)

The Cuebe was designed as a therapeutic toy and acts like a ‘reading stone’ for colors. That is, a child affected by low vision can place The Cuebe on whatever surface he or she likes and the device will ‘amplify’ the color of this surface by actively illuminating it with bright multi-color LEDs. The device or toy was built as part of the Schaukasten project.

It aims to provide a toy design that supports the goals of Early Intervention specialists and fits the needs of the visually (and often multiple) impaired children. The major goals our design pursues are:

a) to deliver stimuli appropriate for therapeutic training in the context of Early Intervention and b) to support Early Intervention specialists with a toy to inspire the creation of play activities in order to uphold motivation of children exercising.

Read More: The Cuebe (from Project 'Schaukasten' 2017-2018)

The motivation of the WayKey Project was to provide technological assistance to people with mild or beginning dementia to support them in organizing their life.

In the course of this project, I was commissioned to design a lucid physical calendar that could be used by senior people to plan their daily activites. The resulting calendar offers several time slots for magnetic signs to be snapped into them. These signs can be labelled with different names or activities. As they are 'smart' and have unique IDs, the calendar recognizes, which activities are snapped to it and posts this information to cloud services. Hence,  physical information about activities in the calendar is translated into digital events. This digital data is then provided to healthcare networks to support the senior user organizing his or her day (e.g., reminding the person of appointments etc.).

I created the smart calendar in three design iterations, successively exploring and debugging its functions. In this way, mid-fidelity prototypes could be demonstrated to senior users to obtain their feedback in order to refine design features. 

Read More: WayKey Calendar Prototype (2018)

Conventional ball runs are usually made from wood and used with marbles. Their easy handling and comprehensible principle of action and reaction – a marble placed into it will run down the slope – make them a popular therapeutic toy among occupational therapists and related professionals when exercising with impaired children. However, traditional ball runs are often too fast paced and not perceivable for children with low vision, making it impossible to fixate the moving ball with their eyes. In the course of the Schaukasten Project, we created a virtual ball run with tangible elements to extend it with properties only the digital can afford, for example, magnification of the marbles or change of color or physical behavior of the ball run in order to support visually impaired children in tracking them with their eyes.

Read More: Virtual Ball Run (from Project 'Schaukasten' 2017-2018)

SCHAUKASTEN (Engl.: ‘DISPLAY CASE’) – Supporting early intervention for young children with low vision and related disabilities through interaction design (1.12.2016 - 31.1.2018), financed by: ‘Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger.’

SCHAUKASTEN seeks to conceptualize, co-design and implement novel interactive toys that motivate young children with visual impairments to keep up with their often dull but crucially important optical exercises to improve vision, motor skills, and related competencies.

Background: Children with a specific condition of visual impairment – cerebral visual impairment (CVI) - should exercise their vision as soon as possible in order to improve their sight or to develop alternative strategies of perceiving their environment. Exercising constitutes an important building block for later leading an autonomous life.

Unfortunately, these exercise can often be little engaging and boring for the effected children and their parents or caregivers.

Therefore, SCHAUKASTEN seeks novel ways into motivating these children to exercise by supporting them with engaging and interactive toys or therapeutic elements.

Read More: Supporting Children with CVI - Project 'Schaukasten' (2017-2018)

We had the opportunity to augment a ballet performance with technology (see also Oliver’s project outline): Choreographer Attila Bako (Wiener Staatsoper) got in touch with us as he envisioned a live heart projection of his dancers during a performance. Hence, we co-designed different visualizations and heart beat-/position tracking technology to augment the show.

 

Read More: Shadows We Cast - Performance with Interactive Technology (2017)

Öxe is the name, which a small boy chose for his interactive device in the course of a co-design process as part of the Outside the Box project. Simply put, Öxe is a multi-purpose open-ended digital toy featuring a multi-color LED matrix and controls to manipulate those lights. It can be used to animate abstract shapes and figures, or it can serve as a stage for directing play. Due to Öxe's popularity, Julia Makhaeva and me created an advanced iteration of Öxe in our spare time as shown in the below video.

Read More: Öxe (2017)