In this article, I’m just gonna share something we’ve (a team of three) worked for the project in the last three months. It’s just a mobile app. We concluded after brainstorming certain ideas. But the deciding moment was like ‘Oh! We too have brains!’. To be frank, we had no idea on what we were to do and even how to start. We were just sure of the plan to design an app for kids that trains them good habits.
As far as we’ve known, there were similar apps for toddlers that either depicts good habits either through images or sayings. So, we chose the gaming mode.
Firstly, we designed a human model of a kid using the tool MakeHuman. Using this, we just chose a little boy, downloaded dresses and skin tones for him. We, the team, call him little boy. But all other friends of mine just call him ‘Kutti Chaathan’ (meaning ‘Little Devil’ in local language). You’ll better understand why when you have a look at the picture below.
He’ll in fact have a closer resemblance to the doll you would have seen in Curse of Chucky 😛
The next phase was to make the boy move. So we exported the human model of the kid we designed as *.mhx2 file. Then, it was imported into the design tool Blender, where we added rigs (bone structures) to it. Now the model can actually move.
With this the kid was ready. So, we stepped into the next phase – choosing three good habits for kids to follow. The habits we chose were to insist on keeping the room clean, brushing teeth, and placing things at proper places after use.
We started designing objects needed for this using Blender again, and animated them as and when required. The following are the objects that we designed for the app.
Then, we used Photoshop for little touch-ups, like adding wig for the boy, and designing the buttons for the app.
Now that the design is complete, we moved onto the coding phase.
We imported these designs as images into Android Studio, designed the user interface over there, added in animations and started the app. Here are few screenshots on how the app works.
On choosing the first module ‘Clean Room’, the user will be shown a room with trash scattered. The task is to clear the trash and throw them into dustbin. On successful clearing, the kid appears on the screen and claps as a token of appreciation.
When the user chooses the “Brush Teeth’ module, on touching the toothpaste and tooth-brush, paste is placed on the brush automatically and handed over to the kid. Then the kid moves to the wash basin, brushes his teeth and places the brush back in place.
The last module is to emphasize placing toys in the play room at their initial positions after use. Here the toys include a car that moves, a plane that flies, a carousel that spins, a xylophone that plays, and a tablet that plays rhymes video – all on touch. After using all the toys and detecting inactivity, the user is intimidated to place back the toys at position by highlighting the actual spot.