Hacking Smart Toys Week 4

Research Assignment: In groups of 2 or 3, pick a persona (it can be a child or adult) and design a lo-fi toy for them that can only be played within a specific environment. Also design a field research methodology for playtesting your creation with kids

Ideas during brainstorm:

  • maze

  • players trolling each other

  • players also helping each other throughout the maze (teamwork)

Persona: children

We initially wanted to encourage play and in future iterations incorporate the learning aspect.

Environment: home


We decided to create a maze around the theme of “finding nemo". We thought that the maze would be too simple, so we also decided to implement a puzzle aspect. We decided to make the shapes organic in order to make the puzzle a little easier due to the difficulty a traditional puzzle can be with a maze. We decided to use plywood to laser cut out the puzzle maze. Due to the outage of the laser cutters in the shop, we were left to the last minute to cut out the maze, so we weren’t able to fully laser cut and etch the puzzle maze in time for class, so we did our best to improvise.

Post Playtest:

We got a lot of good feedback after the playtest. Initially Alex thought that we were using copper tape on the path of our maze to have some sort of electronic component. We also got some feedback to incorporate sound at random areas on the maze to give more delight throughout the maze and release some frustration that might happen while completing the maze. Possibly incorporating the sounds that kids make in a recording and as they progress through the maze, manipulating their sound to make the maze more engaging.

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