The product ‘Dreamtime’ is designed to reinvigorate the ritual of a bedtime story for children with hearing disabilities. Especially in Scotland, the support is mainly available in the city, while parents on the countryside need to figure out how to handle situations on their own. For example, normally, bedtime rituals help the child to calm down and to be comforted before going to bed. Children with hearing disabilities though tend to be easily distracted, overexcited and not ready to go to bed. ‘Dreamtime’ is a handheld product, created to support the telling of a bedtime story and to enhance the bond between the parent and child.
We created this product based on the experience of Claire, a deaf person, who remembered how her mother tend to follow the words in the book with her finger to indicate to Claire how far along the story she is. It helped Claire to stay focused on the story, to calm down and to have a comforting bedtime ritual with her parent.
Dreamtime is to be held by the parent and the child whilst the story is being told. At the beginning, the child and the parent create together the hero of the story by selecting and adapting the appearance of the avatar. Who doesn’t want to hunt the villains as Sensei Fish or win a football match as Little Red Riding Hood. As the parent tells a bedtime story, Dreamtime is actively listening and writing down the speech to text. The child can follow it through reading as the words of the story are enhanced by specifically chosen fonts adapted to the genre. Additionally, microanimations of the avatar help the child to stay focused. The AI is helping the parent to form the story by listening and displaying suggestions of how the story might move on.
So get tucked away and let’s read a bedtime story together.
Dreamtime was created as a solution to Microsoft’s brief of creating a product, service or solution that demonstrates the value and differentiation of the CUI. It was chosen to be exhibited in Cambridge.