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Interactive Puppet Theater - 2006
 
Interactive Puppet Theater

Interactive storyteller that encourages children to concentrate and engage more with the story through physical interactions.

Authors

Jaewook Shin, YoungHyun Chung

Description

'Interactive Puppet Theater' is a new type of product for children to participate physically in the story, rather than just watching and listening. We can encourage children to concentrate and engage more with the story through physical action that relates to the story.

Keywords

Interactive storytelling, Physical computing

Personal Statement

In the winter of my youth I was really curious about why the steam temperatures of breath were different if I blew the breath fast or slow. And I enjoyed the wind pressure on my palm as well as the temperature because I could make some kind of physical interaction by myself. During my undergraduate majoring computer science, I wanted to express something physically to a computer rather than a keyboard or a mouse. These earlier thoughts lead me to connect physical behavior and the computer.

Background

Nowadays children are spending more and more time with toys using new technology. Advanced media such as computer games are not only attractive for children, but taking over their culture of play. Ordinary puppet theater is basically a passive medium that children can only see and listen to. We are trying to make children get involved with the story by putting physical interaction.

Interactive Puppet Theater

User Scenario

1. Every 4 minutes, a story starts.
2. Two children will be invited to play - one as the North Wind and the other as the Sun.
3. Both players will wear each costume; the Wind and the Sun, and hold its controller.
4. Watch and listen to the story.
5. When it is the Wind's turn to blow wind in the story, the blue light blinks as an indication.
6. The Wind child blows wind into the controller.
7. Repeat the above 5-6 steps according to the story.
8. When it is the Sun's turn to throw sunshine, the yellow light blinks as an indication.
9. The Sun child blows warm breath into the controller.
10. Repeat the above 8-9 steps according to the story.
11. Watch and listen to the story.

Implementation

- Two Arduinos for controlling input and output, there are a total of 32 steps in the story.
- Six Servo motors: One for the Sun, one for Wind and four for the status of the traveler.
- An MP3 player for narration and background music.
- A microphone for the Wind controller (Same mechanism as the internal microphone in the Nintendo DS.)
- A thermometer for the Sun controller, which detects warm breath or rubbing.

Interactive Puppet Theater

Conclusion

We believe that active participation in a story is an innovative way to encourage children to concentrate and respond actively within a story. Adults who know the story also enjoyed the puppet theater, because of the physical interaction, as well as enjoying watching their children interact and learn. These are the basic ideas of the ‘Interactive Puppet Theater’. This approach shows the right way of applying technology to the existing medium.

Additional info

• Exhibited at ITP Winter Show 2006
• Images: ITP Show, Detail Images, Work Process

Movie Clip



References

• The North Wind and the Sun by Aesop
- http://www.fables.org.uk/tnwats.htm
- http://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/north.html