AR SHAPE RECOGNITION FOR EARLY-CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, AROUND

AUGMENTED REALITY

Around is an augmented reality (AR) game that helps learners with autism spectrum disorder recognize shapes in real life. The technology accommodates learners to stay engaged in an learning environment that is more relevant and fun.

MY DESIGN PROCESS

Step 1

THE PROBLEM & TARGET AUDIENCE

Let’s say for example, I am teaching a group of students what a circle looks like by using a flashcard, drawing it on the board, and having them trace circles. For a typical learner, that would be enough instruction for them to transfer their knowledge and understand that a clock is a real life object in the shape of a circle. However, children with autism struggle to make this transfer of knowledge because they have difficulty with generalization. To them, the circle on the flashcard is different from the circle drawing on the board, which is also different from the circular clock on the wall.

Step 2

IDEATION

Concept Overview

Players navigate their space and search for shapes with an iPad and augmented reality (AR) technology identifies shapes and displays them on the screen. For typical learners, this technology can be used as an assessment tool to check for understanding. However, for autistic learners, it is a tool that bridges abstract concepts to reality. It fills in the current gap in traditional learning methods, and increase students’ motivations to learn and stay motivated.

 

Why Shapes?

Shape recognition is a fundamental skill that leads to recognizing letters and words. It is an essential skill that transfers to literacy skills. 

GENERAL PRODUCT USER FLOW

Step 3

WIREFRAMING

PRELIMINARY HAND-DRAWN

LOW-FIDELITY

Step 4

TECHNOLOGY - SHAPE RECOGNITION

Shape recognition technology coded from Open CV was implemented into the AR mobile app design.

Developed prototypes were tested at a partner special education school in New York.

Summary:

  • Students were able to use AR technology (USABILITY),

  • Students stayed engaged on the iPad (ENGAGEMENT), and

  • Students were motivated to continue playing (REPLAY). 

  • Teachers thought it would be a useful tool that makes learning more relevant to students.

Improvement Points

  • Teachers wanted more instruction on how they can implement it into their lesson plan.

  • Teachers wanted more options to customize experience to fit the different needs of students.

Step 5

PROTOTYPE & USER TEST