Hoot is a digital toy that helps the user in learning spelling, vocabulary and possibly languages. The device would store sets of words and audio recordings of the words keeping them true to their pronunciations(IPA – International Phonetic Alphabet for English). Depending on a game mode, the toy would playback the appropriate recording to the user who now will have to place scrabble-like pieces on the device in the right order to win the game. The pieces would be magnetically held in place, and can possibly give a vibration like feedback when they are placed on the device. For each correct letter the piece would glow green and for every wrong letter, it would glow red. Depending on the game mode, each correctly and wrongly spelt letter would add or reduce the player’s score. The user will interact with the toy either through a touch based interface(initial test prototypes can be mobile phones running android) or through a smaller LED or colour display coupled with regular buttons. The user will be able to select game modes and start a game via this interface. The user will be able to skip the current word or get hints about the current word, depending on the current game mode he is in. Hints can be language of origin, root word, word definition, etc. A small thermal printer will be attached to the device so as to print out more information about the current word or for printing out achievements the user has gained. Tangible rewards and achievements will keep the player coming back for more.
Art, Design and Development – Hoot – Games as Cognitive Learning Environments for Children. The attempt is to create a product that offers a meaningful intervention into the ever persistent ‘teaching of language’ problem. It aims to be a better alternative to existing digital
learning simulations by addressing the language/vocabulary learning challenges faced by children.
More Information here – https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1526334/yrdcGames/hoot/index.html