Task: The project consisted of creating an interactive toy of our invention for the market.
Idea: I suggested we create motion-sensitive dueling wands based on Harry Potter. Different motion patterns cast different attacking or defensive spells. The shielding level was shown on the wand, and a “hit” wand timed out while it recuperated.
Approach: After a few initial sketches, usage scenarios / storyboards, and playing around with sticks, we worked on prototyping.
A flash prototype was first made to gather feedback on the concept. Feedback was used to improve the design of the final toy, which we built. This was a fully functional wand (with nuts and bolts and lots of soldering) which we connected to a PCB with USB interface for energy and control purposes.
The marketable toy would have IrDA communication, much like the Wii remotes many years later, but for our demo it simply interacted with a virtual software-controlled wand.
Resources: The project’s site is still online, and one can find usage scenarios and design specifications as well as our final paper (.pdf).
Play with our prototype!
Bear in mind that the User Manual link does not work!! Use the images above.