This article is about a nice case study from Italy on design for autism that shows how the careful observation of the ‘state of the art’, can lead to an actualization and a useful and beneficial redesign for all the actors of a system. Blu(e) is a tablet to help autistic children to communicate and was invented by Needius, a company that deals with the design and implementation of technologies for special needs.
Get yourself comfortable and be patience to get ’till the end of this short article because today we will talk about distraction, self-control difficulties and Piks, a crowdfunding to develop children’s concentration. This game in wood and silicone has particularly intrigued us at first glance for the simplicity of the project and the effectiveness of the results that can be obtained; deepening the research then we discovered that there is much more behind these constructions.
The story of Pixel Press starts with a group of friends who was no more satisfied with just playing video games, so begin designing them. So far nothing exciting, indeed probably the majority of companies in the industry were born in this way; the difference is that Pixel Press has done so in a ‘disruptive’ way: it has made the design and creation of video games for everyone, even for a child, creating a toy to learn design thinking.
It seems that in the field of board games design there is a growing trend towards the design of politically incorrect toys that gain success. Moreover if we analyze human nature and the behavior of young and old players in front of a board, it’s not strange to confer to the unfairness their success. These games are often play with friends or acquaintances and it is easy to resort to their weaknesses to anticipate their moves or think of ‘borrowing’ a little more money from the Monopoly bank; on the other hand, the fun is also in this, and why resist the temptation to cheat even when playing together, and skipping a turn is not so serious?
Among the many innovations that have gained popularity thanks to Internet and in particular social networks there is the great charm of unboxing. To introduce you to the subject, let me bring you back in time, in two different situations, but crossing across countries and generations.
Only in Italy, people with diabetes type 1 (DT1) are about 300,000. This specific disease is also called juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes because it usually occurs at a young age and is treated exclusively with insulin bites. The Mexican designer who designed an invention to help children with diabetes knows this issue really well.
Once upon a time there was Niamh Barnes, a 7-year-old girl treated in an English hospital. One day she suggested to doctors and nurses to find a system to support the little patients, to distract them and go with them during their stay in the wards. That desire by Niamh is now reality in Alder Hey’s pediatric hospital in Liverpool that introduced Alder Play, an app created to help kids during therapies that combines Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence for a better hospital experience.
Nowadays robotics and Artificial Intellingence are daily topics mainly because of the great progress achieved in the last years. These matters touch each of us more and more closely, just think of the attention aroused by Sophia, the first woman-robot to have received citizenship in Saudi Arabia. Also the toy world is obviously an active participant in the discussion and this is demonstrated by the large quantity of products that aim to develop the ‘skills of the future’ in children: first of all that of coding. Matatalab is one of these toys, a robot to teach coding born in March 2017 and which is already doubling the required goal of its first Kickstarter campaign.