Friday, November 23, 2007

First Hardware - Then Software - Now PLAYware! :) :) :)

________Children play on 'intelligent tiles' in Odense, Denmark.

"Intelligent playgrounds"

Pick me! Pick me! The weakest children may no longer be left out of playground games. New technology may help to put kids on a more level playing field, which may in turn motivate them to learn and encourage competitiveness. Using modern artificial intelligence and robotics, new playground games can recognize a child's behavior and respond accordingly -- in real-time -- to make the game harder or easier.

The industry calls it augmented cognition, or 'aug cog', a technology that is also being developed by the armed services to reduce mental overload in the battlefield. For example, fighter pilots helmets can be equipped with sensors to distinguish when the brain is becoming overdosed. When that happens, a computer will adjust the level of incoming stimuli, dimming the interface and lowering the volume of messages. The end goal is that a computer will eventually be able to judge whether incoming material is important enough to interrupt your current activity.
The research aims to create more effective military personnel but it could be used by anyone who has to cope with multiple information streams, for example stock brokers under stress. Aug cog is also being studied for its applications in the gaming world. It can be utilized in video games to raise or lower difficulty levels, thereby ensuring that a player is sufficiently stimulated but not overwhelmed.

It may be children who are experiencing the benefits of aug cog first. Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark at Odense have built special playgrounds at two schools, two kindergartens and two youth clubs in the city. Henrik Hautop Lund, professor of robotics, says he wants to transform playgrounds for the new millennium. "It has been incredible to see how immediate children respond to them," Lund says. "They immediately took to this technology."...

Also see: Robotic Therapy Tiles: Playing Your Way to Health

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