The timeline for ADI’s Project Playtime is ending, but the mission, relationships, and project development will continue. What’s next for the teams spotlighted in previous Engineering Mind blog posts?
User Feedback, Please!
A common theme among our teams’ plans was the desire for more user feedback. With first generation devices in hand, teams will head out into the field to complete real-world testing and iterate their designs. Doing so will help them address the unique disabilities each user faces.
For the team in Massachusetts, this means waiting until the fall when their partner convenes for the soccer season. They hope that on-the-field play will help iterate a second version of their radio-controlled light-up ball.
In the Philippines, teams ADiMax, GearMix, and Squeezle have each received the silicone housing required to integrate their electronics. The teams hope to gain valuable insight as kids squeeze, twist, and join the devices at events planned into the fall.
Safety is not a Game
Behind the scenes, safety is the #1 priority for Project Playtime. Each prototyping team was required to complete an independent safety review, to ensure only healthy materials were used and the devices would not become unsafe in the event of a failure.
Reviews for the Shanghai and Beijing teams yielded both positive feedback and suggestions for improvement. The teams made changes to the size and ergonomics of their board games and braille displays. Can’t have any pointy edges!
Bringing Projects to the World
Once designs are finalized, each team will publish its software, mechanical drawings, circuit board layouts, etc. -- everything a maker would need to “DIY” the project.
The team in North Carolina is well on its way to releasing its communication platform to app stores. Once available, anyone will be able to download the software and use it on their own tablet.
Similarly, teams from Bangalore will release software along with their hardware plans to allow visually impaired people to play hand games and board games. It’s an exciting prospect that the open source community will be able to expand the library of playable games.
One of the most impactful developments from Project Playtime has been the relationship each team has developed with its partner institution.
Teams from Cork and Limerick will continue to work with their partner schools to share the designs and train the users. Only by building these relationships have they been able to tailor their designs, as well as ease adoption into the classroom. Many teams have begun volunteering for their partner organizations, beyond Project Playtime.
Young Professionals Lead the Way
Finally, you may remember that the Core Team comprises members of ADI’s Young Professionals Network. Many of the local organizers and prototyping teams are young professionals as well. Over the course of this project, they’ve managed budgets, navigated legal agreements, led engineering efforts, and presented their projects in various forums.
What’s next for these fledgling teams? All we know is, the future is bright! Best of luck to all the teams on their Project Playtime journey, and beyond.