The Intelligent Play Environments project (i-PE) was about the development of an ‘inspirational test bed’ to develop fundamental knowledge, insights and guidelines for the design of intelligent, playful environments. This design research included playful persuasion, emergent behaviour and interaction opportunities that stimulate social and physical play of various user groups. The project examined how an environment should be designed to sense players’ behaviour and create appealing play opportunities. Furthermore, a tool was under development to measure the user experience. The interaction opportunities were designed in an open-ended manner to encourage players to interpret the possibilities in their own manner and improvise during play. Also, a decentralized approach has been taken to examine whether we can design a play environment that adjusts to changes in the play context, such as number of players and, or the configuration of play objects.
PSS concepts were used as vehicles of research, further developing our design philosophy for social and active play. Different play designs have been developed which support various forms of play, for example fantasy play and social and physical play. Furthermore, the design approach has been applied to other application domains, such as way-finding in an amusement park or a hospital.What questions are being answered?
Teams from 2 universities and Industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

How can we describe the user experience in order to understand how people experience PSS? How do people react to scientific research outside laboratory test conditions – in the real world? How to design playful persuasive experience; tailoring them to meet stakeholder requirements?
How can we measure PSS user experience dynamically and unobtrusively? How can we develop interactive experience assessment tools to explore children’s experiences? Which models are available?
How can designers successfully prototype PSS at an early stage, iteratively improve them and monitor user experience? How can we deal with assessing group-social interactions? How can sensor-actuator networks contribute to adaptive solutions and how can we model human-agent systems to describe emergent behaviour?

What have the teams achieved?
We have developed an ‘inspirational testbed’ to develop fundamental knowledge, insights and guidelines for the design of intelligent playful environments to stimulate social and physical play in different user groups

Timeframe and communication:
i-PE started in 2011 and finished in 2015. Throughout the project, we have developed and published on intelligent playful solutions, presenting these at conferences and workshops. Theoretical design knowledge generated by this project was dispersed via workshops and education programmes, resulting in business propositions. Progress was published via this website.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology.
Industry partners: Kompan, Almende, NYOYN, Patching Zone, Eindhoven InnoSportlab, Sportcomplex Eindhoven Noord, Sports & Technology

Project leaders
Prof. Dr. ir. Berry Eggen, Eindhoven University of Technology
Dr. ir. Tilde Bekker, Eindhoven University of Technology



Play is an important aspect of a child’s life through which a child develops physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills and should therefore be a central aspect within the development of a child. One type of play is also called open-ended play which is a form of play in which there are no predefined game rules and/or goals. The players are able to create their own games with their own rules and goals. They have the opportunity to bring their own creativity into the play.
This project consisted out of research on open-ended play in relation with different feedback modalities and different age groups and the translation of the research into Lusio, an interactive play design consisting out of multiple standalone objects. During my research project previous year I learned more about the differences of child development concerning play. This project is built upon the knowledge gained during my research project (M1.2) and expands with knowledge about open-ended play for different age groups of children within elementary school. By creating a research tool to evaluate the differences between combinations of two feedback modalities; coloured light – sound, coloured light – vibration and sound – vibration. The outcome of this evaluation was used as an input for the design of Lusio.
Lusio is an interactive, decentralized play design consisting out of multiple stand-alone play objects and is designed for both the indoor and outdoor environment. For example, using the objects during gym class by instruction of the gym teacher children can get familiar with the objects and they
can take the objects outside during for example a break to continue or change their play. Each object has the same set of fixed rules and the opportunity to communicate with each other. The interaction rules of each object provide the opportunity to play alone and supports parallel play, however, the communication part of the rules provokes towards more social play. These object seduce children to
be creative, social and physical active.
Lusio consist out of U-shaped objects made out of a silicon material. When the objects are taken from the storage box they will turn on and randomly the light of one of the objects will light up. The colour of the object which is lit up can change through shaking. As long as the object is shaken the colour will slowly change from red to green to blue and all the colours in between. The objects that are not lit up still have some interaction rules active. Bringing the two ends of the object together these
ends will stick to each other through magnetism and will active the interaction rule to create sounds. While rolling the object when it is a closed shape different tones will be played. Through the communication the children are able to transfer the light from one object to another by spinning
the object of which the coloured light is on. However, the coloured light can also be copied to another object by combining two objects and releasing them again. When two objects are combined the coloured light of both lights will change when the object accelerates and comes back in a resting modus, for example through throwing and catching the combined objects. When the children are finished playing they have to place the objects back into the storage box. When the objects
are placed in the box they will turn off and be charged for the next play moment.