|CarSafari – SatNav for kids|
| Posted on 06/05/2014 - 15:17|
CarSafari is an information system which allows children to learn about places in a fun and entertaining way. Geotagged information is accessed through an intuitive interactive map on the CarSafari app and presented as illustrated stories to users.
CarSafari was developed from an observation of the lengths parents go to keep children quiet and entertained on long car journeys. DVD players are strapped to headrests so that children are encouraged not to interact with each other, or with front seat passengers, and are oblivious to the environment that they are traveling through. CarSafari creates a new driving experience for families, one where parents and their children may together enjoy their surroundings, learning and having fun as they travel. In comparison with existing in-car entertainment systems, which aim to distract children from the journey they are taking, the place-related trivia and games on the CarSafari app help children to engage and interact with their context in a playful and sociable manner.
At the core of CarSafari is a database of geotagged data, with information on numerous topics – monuments, architectural heritage, folklore, flora and fauna, geographic features, etc. Most of the data is open source, with an online community creating additional information by recording local knowledge to promote their area on a webmap. The app will deliver this content to children at a time and location that is appropriate for its consumption. An intuitive map displays points of interest relative to the child’s position. Selecting a point reveals a story about that location, along with historic images, animations and audio clips to capture the child’s imagination. The award will be used to carry out market research and further develop the graphic and text content of the prototype.
Target group and social impact
For parents, CarSafari offers an alternative to the passive experience provided by current in-car entertainment systems. By capitalising on stories latent in the landscape, CarSafari stimulates the child’s active interest in their environment. CarSafari will entertain children but will also operate as an educational tool; as the car moves through the landscape, the app informs users about their context and prompts them to respond to place-related trivia. In this way, the child’s experience of the landscape is enriched, as they interpret and reflect on their surroundings. Where businesses are featured on CarSafari there will be a bias towards artisans and community initiatives, so that parents are informed about and encouraged to support local communities, both socially and economically.
Competences of the applicant
Architect Paula Kelleher (B.Arch, M.Sc. Urban Design, H.Dip. GIS) and Project Manager James Mannix (Dip. Const. Econ, B.Sc. Surv, P.Dip. Innov. Mgmt) are co-founders of CarSafari Ltd. They won the European Satellite Navigation Competition Ireland Region prize in 2013 with the CarSafari concept. They are currently working with an app company to develop a prototype for launch in Summer 2014.
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