In this paper we describe an opportunity that Ambient Intelligence provides outside the domains typically associated with it. We present a concept for enhancing child development by introducing tangible computing in a way that fits the children and improves current education. We argue that the interfaces used should be simple and make sense to the children. The computer should be hidden and interaction should take place through familiar play objects to which the children already have a connection. Contrary to a straightforward application of personal computers, our solution addresses cognitive, social and fine motor skills in an integrated manner. We illustrate our vision with a concrete example of an application that supports the inevitable transition from free play throughout the classroom to focused play at the desk. We also present the validation of the concept with children, parents and teachers, highlighting that they all recognize the benefits of tangible computing in this domain.
|Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments
|Number of pages
|Published - 2011