With childhood obesity on the rise around the world, parents are finding it increasingly harder to get their kids outside to play. Czech designer Pavel Tuma and his team are looking to change that with a new 5D playground in the works. While coercing children into physical activity, the playground combines online favorites, video games, and other interactive features for a complete experience that is fun, educational, and merges the old with the new.
The team of designers spent two years coming up with the specifics for this otherworldly playground. They describe it as a playground the size of a tennis court, with a 5D box right next to it. The box is a sort of mini-computer center, with a touchpad and sensors relating to the five senses. Each child would have a chip to enter the game, which is a series of physical and mental challenges that have to be overcome. The playground itself is very attractive visually, with numerous hurdles of different kinds, a multimedia box, and various surfaces, rubber mulch among them.
The software will have six areas of knowledge geography, history, natural sciences, entertainment, and general knowledge. Quizzes vary between concentrating on one subject, and across the board knowledge. Pavel envisions a scenario where teachers give his team the test questions a day in advance and they would take care of the rest, allowing the children to take the test through the playground system. On a nice day the test could take place out in the open, and teams of students could even play against each other. By the time they get home from school, they would have received their test results by mail, with photos on Facebook of the kids in the playground.
This playground project is still in the making, but there has been interest from countries all over the world, some looking to fight childhood obesity, with others looking at it as a source of tourism. From the looks of it, computerized playgrounds have a bright future.