TomTom Orbit is a digital sports toy that can be thrown with. This shuttle measures several throw statistics like distance, height, speed, spin and amount of catches. With these, multiple games can be played. Each appealing to a different type of self-enforcing challenge. In its most basic form Orbit can be thrown away and children can see how far and high they have thrown. More sophisticated games include game mechanics like time pressure and catch detection. Each game requires a clear game goal structure. Goal attainment directs players towards one game goal, nurturing the group spirit.
Children between the ages 8-12 want to discover what they are capable of through challenge affording toys. At the same time millennial parents would like to stay active, thoughtful participants in their children’s lives. They fear children will isolate themselves by playing video games. The increasing demand for digital entertainment shows that tech becomes a fundamental part of play, rather than just a gimmick. Many parents, therefore, embrace digital educational toys, which emphasise the cognitive development of children. However, the physical challenge-need of children stays underexposed within digital play. TomTom Orbit is a throwable shuttle that inspires movement by challenging children physically through digital means. Orbit measures various throw statistics, e.g. throw distance, that open up ways for children and parents to engage in goal-oriented games. But just numbers and stats are not impactful for play. Orbit makes sensational sound effects while throwing and catching it. These sounds alter based on the player’s performance. By morphing between play and performance children get engaged in a self-enforcing challenge that facilitates other people’s involvement.
This very well executed and allround IPD project started with a search for new applications of TomTom technology in the field of toys. This resulted in interesting research intogame playing in combination with technology involving a new application, effective concept development and examplary embodiment.