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Mâbat - A solar game for children

Mâbat is an educational solar game and toy. It trains motor and soft skills and helps children grasp the power of solar energy at a young age. By offering two modes, Mâbat allows the user to catch the sunlight while playing with others outside, e.g. teaming up. Thus Mâbat motivates children to enrich their social life, stay active and breathe fresh air while catching some sun themselves. As a playful companion, Mâbat collects the daylight and transforms it into energy, which the kids can use at home to illuminate their surroundings at night.

Initial concept research

During the research I found that only 20% of the children these days are going to play outside. It didn't surprise me. Looking deeper for what are the good result playing of outside, I found that it strengthens your social and creativity skills, problem solving, increases self confidence and more!

I decided to take this idea of playing outside and combine it with a personal object, toy, that will encourage the child to go outside and cooperate in order to gain something for itself and the object.

Interviews

In order to understand my potential clients, I chose a target group of 5 children in the age of 4-10 and asked them about their desired game/toy, what would they like it to have, want it to be able to do, etc.

From this I was able to divide the group into 3 personas with different visual and tactile needs.

Summarizing them all I understood that the children want to have a small object that they will own and not a public one, that will make them go outside in-order to use it but it must also have a function while home, as then they will notice and care for it.

Game and function

The main idea was to speak about the differences between inner/outer use and open/close object

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Mirroring the solar energy from one to the other. Staying precise to reach the other participant's toy with a laser beam.

documentationNofarNoTwo.pdf PDF documentationNofarNoTwo.pdf

Pairing with a friend to change the game into a more social one.

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Shape & Interaction

I wanted the games to be familiar and fun.  Nostalgic base games that will make the players to move and interact.

The interaction needs to be shown by sound and vibrations as we play outside in the sun,

Using the racket archetype I chose my product to contain 2 games and use my user age group's imagination for reducing objects.

The games are pingpong game , but haptic, so they will not need to carry a ball with them. And „catching sun“ game.

While the home interaction will be an ambient night lamp.

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Shape research

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Shape and open/close search

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 Testing prototypes size over the potential children

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Final shape decision for a racket reminding shape with a slight angle changes to make it more like a „creature“. 

The handle is mounted in the back, infant of the light panel. It helps to change the mode from close to half open (light) to fully open (ready to pair and play mode).

In the front we will have the colorful solar panel with Mabat's unique pattern, which makes the whole system running.

Interaction and games

I created myself a UML like diagram to understand my technical product needs and then tried a few different boards.

I decided to use ESP32's wifi communication to make my process easier.

User story board

minutes.pdf PDF minutes.pdf

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I understood that different users hold the product differently, and there is a slight difference between my target group to older age groups in their passion to imagine and play.

It seems like the tap gesture to start a game really puts a smile on the users face before playing - gives them an expectation.

Final Decisions

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I decided to go with high contrast and colorful colors to take the child's attention.

I was testing which side should the light go out of and decided instead of using the side profiles , to use the back. This will allow an easier and better injection process and a semantic use of the half open handle for light mode.

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open and half open

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Children different interactions  with the product

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I can see the product as an existing one connecting between different children communities, creating new opportunities for connections and friendships. And most of all, allowing children to go outside for the sun even when there are other tempting games to play with.

Ein Projekt von

Fachgruppe

Produkt-Design

Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im Grundstudium

Zugehöriger Workspace

Heliobolici : kleine solare Selbstversorger

Entstehungszeitraum

Sommersemester 2022