The X-Keys with labels for our project.
We aimed to create a game that would add more functionality to a basic children's game while remaining easily accessible and usable to our target audience (toddlers/young children learning colors and shapes for the first time).
What it does
Our game allows a user to identify shapes and colors using the X-Keys tool. The game instructs the user by speaking to it, and the user follows the directions. We chose to add single player and multiplayer options as well in order to allow for peer interaction. The game is easy for a toddler to operate and is compatible with almost any computer.
How We built it
We programmed the logic of the game using Java and included a text-to-speech API so that instructions can be spoken aloud. The user interacts with the game using X-Keys (programmed with ControllerMate, MacroWorks), with each key designated as a possible answer to any question.
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge we experienced involved the text-to-speech feature. We felt that this aspect was especially important since children who use this product will likely not be able to read and are therefore more receptive to instructions being spoken to them. Java does not have a speech feature, so our main challenge involved finding and utilizing a suitable API.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud of the fact that we were able to create a fully functioning product before the deadline.
What We learned
As a team, we gained more experience with using Java to program hardware, as well as integrating API functionalities into our final product. Additionally, we all used X-Keys for the first time.
What's next for The Learning Game
In the future, we would look into creating a GUI in order to create additional functionality. Also, we would create an administrator mode where an adult who would give this toy to a child would be able to customize the available questions without needing coding knowledge.