Hands Up!

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Hands Up! is an interactive educational installation; it is designed to be an activity for reading time, in primary schools. Our installation is an interactive story, in which the users become a main character and participate in the story in order to unveil the plot. The storyline features the protagonist, Mason who is a Junior Detective – he investigates crime and solves mysteries with the help of users.

Hands Up, is designed to allow a maximum of six children to participate – it targets booster classes for children who struggle with English. The setup of the installation requires the program to be projected on to a blank wall, whilst children interact with the Kinect and experience a learning adventure. Only one child will interact with the Kinect at a time; we intend to give the group of children a paper Junior Detective badge with a unique ID number – one ID will get called out by the installation at a time, whenever an opportunity to interact with the story arises.

Our project was developed using OpenFrameworks and the OpenNi addon for the Kinect (model 1414). The graphics are our original artwork and all dialogue recorded was produced by the Hands Up team. We designed the visuals of the program to be colourful, bright and aesthetically appealing by designing fun cartoons that appear to be like paper cutouts. We included sound effects to reflect the surroundings of each scene within the journey, to make the journey feel real and include an upbeat soundtrack. This is done to create a positive atmosphere, keep users interested and encourage them to fully get involved in the project.

Target Audience:

Hands Up, is designed specifically for primary school students in English booster classes, within Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11). The program design aims to improve their English skills by including a story, which users can participate in; we believe their creative writing abilities and vocabulary will improve, since the children are getting involved in the creative process of unravelling a story, which will in turn inspire them to write in a more imaginative way.

Link to the project website: Hands Up!

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