Playtop is a prototype for an interactive toy. The set consists of a surface that sits on top of a laptop, two character pieces, and three transportation models, a car, a boat, and a spaceship. The pieces fit into holes on the board, and trigger various reactions on the screen. When the characters, Anna and Sam, are set down, they ask the player what vehicle she or he would like to ride in today. If a transportation model is set down, a landscape appears on the screen behind the piece. When both a character and a model are on the board, it triggers a short animation.
Playtop is a collaboration between artists Sultanali Barodawala, Ziqu Zou, Juno 刘嘉琦, and myself for our major studio class at Parsons. For this assignment, we were given one week to make whatever we wanted. The only requirement was that we present a finished object at the end.
Natasha Lewandrowski | Interaction design, case and character design, construction
Sultanali Barodawala | Animation
Juno 刘嘉琦 | Animation
Ziqu Zou | Interaction design, physical computing, code
Each piece has a contact point on the base that lines up with another contact point on the board. All the connections align differently, so the board can always tell which pieces are on it. The board communicates with a website through the computer using an Arduino and USB to play the animations.