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The Magic Monster


The Magic Monster is a smart-toy developed as part of the Smart Technologies Empowering Citizens project, a collaboration between the AUAS (Ben Schouten of Civic Interaction Design and Tamara Pinos C. of Digital Life), Phillips and media company IJsfontein. It is a cuddle toy that makes use of the sensors of an embedded smart phone, that teaches children how to perform magic tricks while encouraging the use and exercise of fine motor skills in both hands.

The complexity of the tricks and hand movements increase as the children make progress. With this project we want to investigate if self-adapting play complexity provided by a smart toy create motivation and adherence to therapy at home for children with Cerebral Palsy.

This is an ongoing project, at the moment two prototypes have been developed using different materials and with the possibility to do two magic tricks: disappearing a coin and a ball.

Initial user tests, done with 22 children at the age of 7 to 12 years old in Amsterdam, indicated acceptance of the toy and enjoyment in the children while learning to perform the magic tricks ánd while identifying bugs and problems with the material used.

Further development includes the addition of new magic tricks and development of AI algorithms to help identify and modify the play experience as well as customisation of movements like shaking.