The LudInc mini computer is a portable, interactive computer designed in close collaboration with LudInc, a company that creates educational games for playful learning. In this innovative learning game, Professor S, children aged 9-12 go on adventure with a time travelling professor stuck in time.
LudInc contacted our design studio to develop a special computer for one of their games; Professor S. LudInc creates innovative games that combine interactive stories with educational content, turning learning into a magical experience. In this specific game children are asked to help professor S. The time machine he has built broke down and now he’s stuck in time.
He sends a special computer to communicate with the children by using chat, video and sending physical objects, while giving them tasks to perform in and outside the classroom.
“Some kids were able to perform tasks that they could not accomplish last year using the regular curriculum.”
So I delved into the professor’s world. What does his world look like? What computer would he make? And what features does the computer need to have? It soon became clear that several features, such as the device for ‘transmitting’ physical objects and notes, needed to be integrated into one functional design.
During the process we learned that often schools in and around Berlin don’t have any access to computers, which provided a huge opportunity to fill in the blanks with an affordable – and portable – computer. Many cardboard models and prototypes later there was an entirely portable design with all the needed features.
“Delving into the professor’s world and including all features into one computer resulted in an entirely portable design that helps telling the story.”
So far dozens of computers have been produced and sold to different schools. It is a great addition to the curriculum and the usability of both computer and interface is a stress relief for teachers. They enjoy working with the game as they experience freedom within the established framework. Children that normally experience difficulties with traditional learning show tremendous engagement. Children are focused on the tasks and assignments, but most of all it is fun and exciting.
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