The Playbox has been moving around Leeds, bringing play to communities for a year. I asked Emma Bearman what challenges she would set people and companies working with the internet of things to bring play to even more people and places.
What challenges might IoT solve for Playbox?
We want to help people be playful whether the Playbox is open or not. I'd like to know how IoT might help us create playful interactions in public spaces, stimulate conversations, connect people better, and evaluate our impact.
We face a number of specific challenges around,
- Power and Connectivity such as enabling sensing and interaction, digital making, fixing, learning, entertainment, heating, and offering WIFI to communities.
- Capturing data that matters to the community in playful inquisitive ways. We need to know how people use the Playbox so that we can provide them with more of what they want.
- Sharing the story of where Playboxes are located so that people know when they will be near them and where they can go to join in.
- Tracking the donation and re-use of toys that we help communities to share.
How could solving these problems improve how we play?
- Always being connected to power and data would make our playboxes safer and help us share our location and plans more easily.
- By enabling frictionless play we can do more of what people want and share our successes with sponsors without having to stop playing to fill in evaluation forms.
- Letting us be responsive and resilient. What if the Playbox could change what it offers depending on the weather, alert those connected to it by text, measure engagement, and tell a story of its activity all by itself? How would we take the pulse of enjoyment, share it socially and physically, and reward people for joining in? We aim to bring all these ideas to communities that currently lack amenties for play and we hope that IoT can help