Digital Seed Media Lab Europe

The Digital Seed project was a exploration of preschool children's learning about plant growth and plant life cycles.

We created an interactive "toy", a physical box that showed a virtual seed. The display was a Compaq iPAQ handheld fastened inside the box, connected to a PIC board and light, temperature, and water flow sensors. Children could pour water through the box, causing the display to show rain, shine a flashlight on the box to cause the sun to move through the sky, etc. The animated seed could either thrive and complete the plant's lifecycle or wither, as dictated by a finite state machine driven by the children's interactions.

I contributed to the system design, implemented the iPAQ software, and also helped to evaluate the device with children.


Mauro Cherubini, Valentina Nisi, Hugh Gash, Tom McCloughlin, and Carol Strohecker


eMbedded Visual Basic

Related Publications

Mauro Cherubini, Jamie C. Rasmussen, Hugh Gash, and Tom McCloughlin. Digital Seed: An interactive toy for children's explorations of plant growth and life cycles. Interaction Design and Children Workshop. 2002.