Sparkling Fingers

Participatory design of assistive technology in the educational context

The initial concept was a setup providing multimodal content while the user explores a two or three dimensional object with his hands. The system includes a placement area for the model, a computer, and several webcams. Using one or more cameras and a marker, one finger of the user can be tracked by the computer, which returns relevant information, if certain hotspots are reached. Interfaces for pupils as well as teachers are provided, thus allowing generation and retrieval of educational content in a comfortable way.

Especially for visually impaired pupils tangible objects are an important part of their teaching. Potential users of the system were invited to take part in the development of new ways of computer assisted learning.

Using a “participative design“-approach, ideas and interests of pupils and teachers alike were brought in during several iterative development phases. This gave pupils the opportunity to take part in a scientific design process as actively involved design partners.

This project has been completed.