Role in the Project: individual thesis project

toot is an interactive and sound-active toy designed for children aged between three and six years old that wants to enhance their auditory, music and language skills. toot is composed by eight little cubical speaker boxes. On each speaker children are able to record a sound. In order to listen back to the recorded sound the speaker must be shaken as if the sound was physically trapped into a box. After having recorded sounds on them, the speakers can be placed in a sequence after Mr.toot, and by tapping on his head it is possible to trigger the playback of the speakers in a sequence. toot is also matched with a mobile application that offers different kind of interactions and experiences. it allows to play some exercise that will teach children to listen, understand and catalog sound and melodies.

The main experience offered by the toy is the recording of sounds and the building process of a sequence. A mobile application is offered to expand the interaction possibilities and to offer different exercises that will enhance children’s earing sense and creativity. the application offers different kind of exercises: The melody puzzle: where a melody selected by the user is divided in eight parts and sended to the eiight speakers. children have to build the melody back by placing the speakers in the right order. The sound matching: this exercise is inspired by a Montessori sensorial exercises. The sound cilynders exercise. On the bottom four of the speakers are painted in blue and the remaining four in red. In this exercise the application will send the same four sounds both to the reds and the blues speakers. children will have to find matches between the red and the blue speakers. In both cases the applicaton is able to give live feedback on the state of the exercise and to advise users when they are doing mistakes.

In a panorama where most of the music toys are just the children-size version of music instrument, this product wants in a way create, as other have done before, a new way to experience sound and music. The focuses of ths project are the concept of sound and the concept of time that putted together can form the definition of music. The sound is captured in the speakers and the time is rappresented by the sequence of sounds one after the other. This product wants to be both a normal in-house toy and an educational instrument that can be used inside schools such as the Montessori. The research has been made with the help of musicians and educators from different areas of expertise. This project has at its focus the enhancement of children's sound sensibility, musical attitude and language skills.