Crossroads grant for Smartwall development – Smartfloor

CrossRoads2 is a project within the European program Interreg Flanders-Netherlands. It aims to stimulate sustainable cross-border cooperation on promising innovation projects between SME/SME companies in Flanders and the southern Netherlands (Zeeland, North Brabant and Limburg). The project is aimed at companies with good, innovative and technically feasible project ideas that would like to cooperate with other SMEs across borders.

Embedded Fitness and the Belgian Sensor partners have received a decision of 135,000 euros for the Smartwall / Smartfloor innovation project.

Interactive play wall keeps kids engaged

What do a laser-lit wall, bouncing balls and cameras have in common? According to Dutch Embedded Fitness and Belgian Sensor partners, they are part of the classroom of the future. Playful learning is becoming the norm.

Especially in Scandinavian countries, but also in the Netherlands, the didactic method has already taken hold: play-based learning. Specifically, by allowing children in kindergarten and elementary school to play and play sports during lessons, adapted to the lesson pattern, they stay better engaged. Providing learning in a playful, interactive way stimulates additional brain parts that help children memorize more easily, in a structural way. Think head counting on a hopscotch field or learning to read the clock through a board game. Moreover, according to CrossRoads2 partners Embedded Fitness from Helmond and Sensor Partners from Zellik, play-based learning is an ideal way to hone athletic skills. They are jointly developing an interactive game wall in 2018, where children literally learn to achieve their goals.

Games Reality

The CrossRoads partners’ technology involves a combination of lasers and cameras that project an extra layer of reality. A virtual game environment appears on a white wall, while a pressure-sensitive floor determines the player’s position. Initially, Embedded Fitness and Sensor Partners are working on a prototype in which children must hit certain targets on the game wall with balls. By incorporating language and math exercises into projected play, movement soon evolves toward moving learning. In time, the CrossRoads partners would like to incorporate elements of specific sports such as handball, soccer tennis or badminton into the game to introduce children to them in a playful way.

In the start-up phase of the project, the partners first look at the technological tuning of the game wall. What cameras are suitable, what skills are useful and feasible to include in the package, how best to program? In the fall, Embedded Fitness and Sensor Partners would like to present an initial prototype. With this, they then aim to quickly find their way into classrooms and gymnasiums in Flanders and the Netherlands.  

(text Eline van Assche  Pantarein Publishing)

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