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GEO
Geo is an interactive globe that teaches geography skills to children ages 6-10. It utilizes a Voice User Interface (VUI) and guides the child to interact with the globe surface to learn geographical names and features. Geography skills strengthen global awareness, spatial skills, and curiosity about the unknown.
About Geo
• Interactive globe that teaches geography skills to children ages 6-10.
• Utilizes VUI and guides the child to interact with the globe surface.
• Geography  is an essential body of knowledge that strengthens global awareness, spatial skills, and curiosity about the unknown.
• Geo tests using visual, auditory, verbal and kinesthetic learning styles, enhancing learning across different channels.
Timeframe 
7 weeks  
Skills 
Concepting | Research | Style, tone & messaging | Copy | Storyboarding | Conversational flowchart | Landing page | Audio recording/editing | Secondary animation | Secondary illustration
Tools
Dreamweaver | CSS Grid | Flexbox | After Effects | Illustrator | Garage Band
Collaborator 
Jules Naujoks | Primary animation | Primary illustration | Voice over copy | Logo design

Geo: the world is yours!

Why Geography?
Geo’s marketing and tone is adventurous and curious, giving families the message that geography knowledge increases sense of belonging and place, spacial awareness, cultural empathy and environmental stewardship. Geo’s primary market would be for families to have and use at home, with a secondary market for children to use at school in the classroom during free time. Geo’s price point would be around $100.

Storyboard for Geo animation

“Spatial experience actually changes brain structures. As taxi drivers learned the spatial layout of London, the gray matter in their hippocampal areas—that is, the areas of the brain integrating spatial memories—increased.”
— New York Times, about research by psychologist Eleanor A. Maguire, University College London
“According to the Department of Labor, the employment of geography specialists is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022—much faster than the average 11 percent growth for all occupations.”
— US News Week
User Profiles
Developmentally Targeted
Children ages 6-10 are the perfect age to start solidifying geography skills! Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development calls this age range “School Age” and children in this stage are developing competence in intellectual, physical and social skills. Knowledge, learning and cooperation are important areas to strengthen at this time. This age range is able to implement practice in order to improve skills and beginning at age 6-7, children can understand commands with three separate instructions. This means that Geo will encourage appropriate psychological development for children in this stage.

Erik H. Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development

Learning Styles
Geo tests using visual, auditory, verbal and kinesthetic learning styles, enhancing learning across different channels. Geo works with all learning styles, allowing all users to feel empowered through use, and simultaneously strengthening non-dominant learning styles.

Geo embraces all learning styles!

Intuitive Patterns
Each level Geo offers has both teaching and a testing modes, which are cued verbally by the user. In testing mode, the region lights up and the globe says the name, teaching it to the user. Geo teaches 3 items at a time and then changes to testing mode, calibrating up or down depending on how the user’s accuracy of response. Geo stores responses to track progress. If the user doesn’t know, they can say “give me a hint” and globe will light up two options to choose from.
The Current Market
The current market does feature several globe toys for children in this age range. Some are interactive, utilizing a stylus or multiple choice interface. There is room on the market for a true interactive VUI. Geo is also distinguished from current market offerings by its cultural integration aspect of geography lessons.

Geo landing page navigation

Landing page wireframe

Build
Geo’s build is a spherical touch surface similar to those developed by Puffer Fish Displays. It is a fully interactive touch screen for maximum detail. It utilizes internal projection, is 24'' in diameter. It features a static sphere on base, and the touch surface allows for scrolling and zooming.

Geo utilizes internal projection creating an interactive touch surface

A VUI with a Growth Mindset
Geo’s is a friendly guide, who’s voice user interface gives heavy praise, is funny, and not overly repetitive. The praise model promotes a growth (vs. fixed) mindset, focusing on hard work of user, not how smart or inherently gifted they are. Geo is excited, upbeat and energetic, cultivating a sense of adventure and exploration. Geo features a female voice, reflecting a statistical preference for female voices in instructional settings within our user demographic.
In order to account for possible challenges of speech recognition for young users, Geo utilizes onboarding that asks users to recite short phrases, repeating after Geo. This accounts for possible variation in reading skills within the target audience age group. Geo also offers prompts and hints, as well as reminding users what tools are available when flow is interrupted.
Conversational Flowchart
Perfect for Families
Geo can also be utilized by multiple children in the same household or classroom. Users sign in by telling Geo their name, and Geo remembers their level of progress from stored data. Users can also play together in multi-player mode so siblings and classmates can use Geo simultaneously, even if they are working on different lessons. Geo takes data from established accounts to create varying difficulty tailored to each user.
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