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PlayCubes: Monitoring constructional ability in children using a tangible user interface and a playful virtual environment

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10 Author(s)
Sigal Jacoby ; Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Haifa, ISRAEL ; Galia Gutwillig ; Doron Jacoby ; Naomi Josman
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Constructional ability is a necessary part of everyday functioning for adults and children alike. In children, the need for adequate levels of constructional ability is evident during both recreational and school activities. PlayCubes is a dynamic tool that supports monitoring a variety of the perceptual-motor processes needed while children perform constructional tasks. PlayCubes is based on ActiveCube (AC), an electronic, Lego-like tangible user interface (TUI) designed to construct three-dimensional (3D) objects in both the physical and virtual realms simultaneously. In this paper we explore PlayCubes' use as a concrete, ecologically valid tool which reveals the dynamic functional processes underlying constructional ability among typically developed children. Our paper describes the PlayCubes interface including its interactive playground virtual setting, the motivation for the study, the experimental design and results to date. We conclude that, despite several technical limitations, the PlayCubes system and playground apparatus tasks appear to be sensitive to differences in children constructional abilities while presenting an engaging and enjoyable assessment tool.

Published in:

2009 Virtual Rehabilitation International Conference

Date of Conference:

June 29 2009-July 2 2009