How might children learn in a playful way how to concentrate better?

Learning Companion for Children with ADHD

 

Brian is a tangible device for children with ADHD for neurofeedback therapy. Our design aimed to provide a joyful play experience throughout the treatment process, while it is still possible for the parents to follow the progress, without the child feeling observed or that it could fail.



Umeå Institute of Design // Sound Design // 9 days // Collaboration with IxD students: Anton Löf, Aylin Alpay, Helle Taanquist

 
 
 
 

Discussing, drawing, deciding, defining

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BRAINSTORM #1 - DEFINE PROBLEM

First explorations of what kind of sound design project we wanted to do.

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BRAINSTORM #2 - CREATE SOLUTION

How can we trigger attention? How can we make it playful? How "complex" can the toy be?

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Make it work

 

During our process we had the opportunity to experiment with sound, in addition to explore the relationship between form, light and adapted sound.


MODEL CONSTRUCTION
Due to our experience in model building, Anton an me carried the responsibility of constructing the model. With milling the negative sphere, vacuum forming, lathing and lego we were able to built our concept.

During this short Makeathon, we split up in 2 teams to be more efficient. With constant feedback and teaching each other, we finalized our prototype within 9 days.

 

 
Prototyping body for BRIAN: shell + motor

Prototyping body for BRIAN: shell + motor

Designing sounds + light function + interactive control  

Designing sounds + light function + interactive control

 

 
 

Human-machine interaction

 

The concept consists of a neurosensor headband that measures the brain activity (alpha and beta waves which are the concentration and meditation levels), and visualizes the data by making the ball move physically.

 
 


In order to motivate the child to play with Brian, it was given a personality to create a friendly relationship with the ball on a personal level. We designed a character that reacts to certain activities e.g. hitting a wall. In this case the ball turns pink and explains through an emotional sound that it got hurt. Afterwards, it starts healing with a combination of pulsating sound and pink light, indicating its getting better.

 

 
blue - rolls straight when fully concentrated sound: motivated

blue - rolls straight when fully concentrated

sound: motivated

blue - right curve when concentration fades sound: motivated  

blue - right curve when concentration fades

sound: motivated
 

pink - bumped against an object pink blinking -  upset uncontrollable behavior sound: emotional, healing

pink - bumped against an object
pink blinking -  upset uncontrollable behavior

sound: emotional, healing

 

User Study - Wizard of Oz

 

To test our concept, we let little boy "Mario" play with our prototype. As we did not have the entire components to build the headband - piece, we controlled the ball via remote to give the impression to the child it really has the power over the ball.

 

To understand the difficulty their kid is dealing with,
the Brian app gives them the chance to see progress in their kids concentration as well as the not so good days.

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