I aim to shape products, interfaces and services that mediate meaningful dialogues between people, systems and their environments within everyday life.


Talking Teddy

Last weekend I attended the AT&T mobile app hackathon, my very first hackathon. Within a 24 hour period, we had to get into teams and build a mobile app for education.

I teamed up with a dynamic and multidisciplinary group to develop an idea for a stuffed teddy bear that teaches kids in a tangible, interactive, and engaging way. By enabling touch, visuals, sound, and voice, in addition to understanding principals of turn-taking necessary for natural conversation and for keeping attention, we created an immersive and entertaining experience for children.

Our proof of concept integrated a mobile device to a teddy bear. The mobile device runs an application which listens to voice input and uses natural language processing to formulate an appropriate verbal response using text-to-speech. We developed a small library of educational lessons like recognizing colours, learning the alphabet and listening to animal sounds as well as little game rewards to have Teddy tell a joke or sing a song.

For the mobile device I designed simple and fun UI to provide helpful visuals to accompany the audio and ongoing conversation between teddy and child. To manage the child’s learning progress and lesson plans, an admin UI was created for the parent or teacher to choose the education level and the types of lessons/games, as well as track the child’s progress over time.


By the end of the 24-hour period, all teams went up to do a show-and-tell of their prototype. We hit a couple of hiccups with the voice recognition in our demo, but it was really well received. We ended up being the grand prize winner – not too shabby for a bad first-time hacking experience!