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2 Author(s)
Goldman, C.V. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Massachusetts Univ., Amherst, MA, USA ; Kirkpatrick, S.

E-Play is an electronic entertainer, pacifier, and communicator that meets needs of very small children, from infancy to preschool, is robust and simple to control, and is activated by touch only. Children choose activities by touching a picture, thus it is a natural design for use with kids having no computer experience. We have explored two types of contents - purchased content (videos, games, etc.), and individualized content, customized by the child's parents. The device can contain more material than any single book, videotape, or CD-ROM and provides greater flexibility. E-Play can provide a wireless communications link, opened by either the child's or the parent's initiative, or automatically in response to the child's actions. We report our observations of how children aged 8-50 months have learned and worked with this simplified interface, and what characteristics of their responses need to be anticipated in the interface software. We studied three small children as they activated the device options and interacted with its content. We report their apparent degree of understanding of the different computational concepts involved, such as hierarchies, and operational procedures.

Published in:

Multimedia and Expo, 2002. ICME '02. Proceedings. 2002 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference: