Concept – Fizzy invites young children to move and play throughout the hospital. It wants to meet other Fizzies and doesn’t like to sit still for too long. Fizzy stays with a child for some time during hospitalization, being sensitive to the child’s vitality. When a child is feeling tired and has difficulties walking, Fizzy will move slowly and stay in the room. When it learns the child is feeling much better, Fizzy makes clear it wants to get out of the room to move and play with other Fizzies and children.
Ultimately, Fizzy is there to empower children in (re)gaining confidence and competence in their physical activities. In the private sphere, it does so by triggering the child to get out of bed and move and play throughout the hospital. As the child’s vitality fluctuates, due to treatment, Fizzy’s behavioral repertoire changes accordingly. By motivating children to leave their room, Fizzy increases the chances of meaningful encounters with other children and parents. In shared spaces, children can engage with multiple Fizzies in a playful and physical way.
Research – A prototype of Fizzy is currently being used in an explorative study in the hospital. Using a concealed remote control, the autonomous behaviour of Fizzy is played out by the researcher. This ‘Wizard of Oz’ set-up allows for exploring how children move with Fizzy in real life hospital settings. Fizzy was developed using the design perspective of ‘Playscapes’ (see publications below).
Boon, B., Rozendaal, M., van den Heuvel-Eibrink, M. M., van der Net, J., & Stappers, P. J. (2016). Playscapes: A Design Perspective on Young Children’s Physical Play. In Proceedings of the The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 181–189). June 21-24, Manchester, UK. doi:10.1145/2930674.2930713