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The design of safe toys using Augmented Reality

Maanen, A.N. van (2017) The design of safe toys using Augmented Reality.

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Abstract:Research has been done to the application of augmented reality (AR) in the design of safe toys and how AR can be an added value for the design process. Context: This research has been done for the University of Twente to investigate the use of AR, especially in the design of safe toys. This research can be used for further research or can be used for education purposes in the bachelor or master Industrial Design (Engineering). The company where this research is conducted is Aryzon. Aryzon is a start-up that develops an affordable AR device and a platform for AR applications. Aryzon wants to investigate the application field of AR. The Aryzon headset is used during this research. Relevance: Playing is a very important part of young children’s life and toys are part of that play (Ginsburg, 2007). Children have less danger consciousness than adults, so toys should be safe. According the survey that has been done among designers, it is difficult to design safe toys. One reason is the numerous regulations that should be followed. AR is a rising technology that enables people to project 3D imagery in their normal real-life vision and could be an added value in this field. Method: At first, research is done to the definition of safe toys. There is done research in the field of AR as well. In doing research in the possibilities of added value of AR for the design process, the three phases of preparation, designing and testing are distinguished. Concepts are developed for each phase. These concepts include ways to create a better image of the user’s proportions, the user’s behavior, the image of the design and making the testing phase more effective. Concepts: In the first concept, designed for the preparation phase, the designer can see the user, a baby, with some of its products around it. By seeing the user in AR, sizes and proportions become visual. By pointing one of the products, the designer can see the baby using the product. This will increase the insight in how the user behaves. The second concept that is part of the preparation phase detects interesting objects in the designer’s environment and highlights these. By pointing at these objects, a baby appears that uses the object. This concept can increase the insight of the user’s behavior. The third concept is focused on the design phase. In this concept, the designer can see his or her designed model in AR. The designer can perform different tests regarding to the safety regulations on the model. The design errors are shown and can be seen from all different angles. This concept makes safety regulations visual, increases the insight in the error and the way to fix the error. The last concept, designed for the test phase, consists of the designed the model and the possibility to change this model instantly. It will be easier to give the test person a righteous image of the product using AR than using a computer screen. Also the safety of the product can be reviewed better by the test person, because the person will have spatial insights in the design. By being able to make instant changes to the model, the product can be optimized to the potential user’s opinion.The concepts one, three and four are translated into three simplified models, which creates the possibility for testing. These test models are developed for the Aryzon device which makes use of a smartphone. Creating testing models is done by using the Unity framework in combination with some development tools made available by Aryzon. The three testing models provide an experience of using AR and interacting with it. Several designers have used the models and have been interviewed about their experiences with it and whether they see potential for improving their process of designing products. Most designers think AR will be of real added value to the design process. They think they will get a better image of the user and the product using the concepts. The test group also thinks it should not take too many time to use AR in the design process. Conclusion: After designing the concepts and testing these with the intended user group, some recommendations can be given about the use of AR in the design process of safe toys. These recommendations include: create a more realistic moving image of children’s behavior, show what can go wrong when safety rules are not applied and focus on the preparation and design phases, rather than on the testing phase. By adding value in the begin of the design process, AR can make the whole design process more efficient. Overall can be concluded that augmented reality shows potential for improving the process of designing safe toys. The Aryzon headset is a useful device to use for this purpose. Insights in using augmented reality in the design process, especially for designing safe toys, are gained in this research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:21 art forms
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73855
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