The Stokke PlayPad, a multifaceted play platform, is a groundbreaking innovation designed by Marius Kindler to adapt to children’s evolving abilities during their early developmental years. This innovative creation bridges the gap between traditional and digital play, aiming to demonstrate how technology can be seamlessly integrated to enhance a child’s developmental journey. The primary goal of this project was to craft a dynamic play platform capable of growing alongside the changing interests, abilities, and personalities of young children, supporting their development throughout childhood.
Positioned on the floor, the PlayPad establishes an interactive play environment using pressure sensors embedded in its surface as inputs for various play experiences. Visual LED and auditory feedback facilitate a diverse array of interactions that children can readily comprehend and enjoy. Its design caters to the lifestyle of young families, being easily movable, child-friendly in material, simple to set up, and convenient to store after play. The spatial setup accommodates both independent and shared play, encouraging parents to engage alongside their children.
The PlayPad’s primary textile surface offers a soft and secure play area suitable even for the youngest children. Its robust, washable textile sleeve, detachable via a zipper, ensures easy maintenance. With elements like sound, light, and touch, the PlayPad truly comes to life.
The icons embossed on the textile sleeve act as visual and tactile cues, marking the position of integrated pressure sensors. These icons can be illuminated by LEDs situated beneath the textile surface, enhancing the interactive experience.
The Play Base add-on, equipped with a speaker and a battery to power the sensors and LEDs, features an RFID reader that enables the selection and switching between various games and activities. Placing different discs on the Play Base triggers unique presets for sensors, speakers, and lights, activating distinct play activities on the PlayPad.
The PlayPad’s play experiences evolve alongside the child, offering a range of activities varying in difficulty, from free play for the youngest to musical experiences and educational games for preschoolers. With an assortment of play discs available, the PlayPad remains engaging throughout childhood, allowing families to update and customize it according to their child’s age, abilities, and interests.
As a part of the home’s interior, the PlayPad was meticulously designed with materials and colors appealing to young families. Reflecting the Scandinavian heritage and high-quality standards of Stokke as a premium brand, it not only serves as an interactive toy but also as an aesthetically pleasing addition to the home.
This project involved hands-on building of physical prototypes and exploring color, materials, and finishes (CMF) to develop an authentic and playful product vision for both children and parents, aligning with Stokke’s brand ethos. The Stokke PlayPad represents an interactive play platform that evolves in tandem with a child’s abilities, fostering cognitive, physical, and creative play throughout their early years. This Master’s thesis project, crafted in 2022 as part of the Advanced Product Design Programme at Umeå Institute of Design, was a collaborative effort with Stokke, all rights reserved.