Barbie AR

Dreamhouse 

Created in 2017
 

*Mattel Sponsored Project

 
Children can create their own world in augmented reality and see their actions having a tangible impact on Barbie's world!
Introduction

This project was created in a class called, "Imagining the Future of the Barbie Dreamhouse" sponsored by Mattel. We envisioned innovative forward-thinking ways that re-imagined the iconic Barbie Dreamhouse of 2022 by responding to the cultural and societal needs of children around the world while creatively predicting how people will live, work and play in the future. 

 
What Users Want
Parents
"I want my children to develop their creativity throughout playing."
Parents want the toys to give a positive influence over their children.
Children
"I want this."
According to the research, children around at age six start to develop their independence. They love making their own decisions by choosing their own clothes, snacks, toys, etc. *It is important to promote decision-making skills.
 
AR opens the possibility of new play pattern

Children can control weather (with cloud‚ sun‚ rainbow‚ and etc. props) to grow fruit and vegetables.

Barbie can feed animals or cook food for herself.

Some special fruit and vegetables can transform normal animals into epic animals.

Repeating this process increases the possibility of Barbie harvesting special fruit and vegetables.

 
What was
Mattel's Request?
  • Play-pattern has to be non-linear (an open narrative)

  • Play-patterns must revolve around Barbie even though the project focuses on the Dreamhouse.

  • The Dreamhouse should be considerably grand in terms of size as it represents Mattel's iconic product.

  • The theme has to be innovative. It has to be different from existing products in the market. For example, there are already Barbies with various careers and body sizes to eliminate gender stereotypes. 

 
One Example of 
How Children Play

Control weather by hanging props.

The fully grown plants will start twinkling when they are ready to harvest.

Barbie can use the harvested plants to feed the animals.

She can also use it to bake a cake for herself or friends!

 
AR Prototype

In the future, children will be able to experience AR interaction by wearing smart glasses.

Outcome

After multiple presentations, discussions, and refinements based on Mattel team's feedback, I could finally complete my prototype. I made my final presentation in front of Mattel Barbie team, and received great feedback from them.

 

“When you have a concept and you need to check boxes, you are checking most of the boxes: you have full play: you have the house; you have the accessories; you can play even if you're not connected: you have the dolls. Then, with the connection, you have the digital play, which resembles coding, so you have a learning aspect even though you don't talk about it.” 

– Arnaud Kerviche, Director, Global Brand Marketing, Barbie/Entertainment

PROCESS
How I got here?
 
Children's Play Pattern Observation

Inefficient Use of Space

The children played in front of the house because of the way they were structured. The back of the house is blocked off by a wall and since the front area of the house limits interaction, it seemed uncomfortable and inconvenient when more than two children wanted to play together. 

Interior Affects Play Narrative

Children were attached to interactive furniture and it easily became the center of attention in their play narratives.

For instance, having a refrigerator that can be opened and an oven with switch lights translated children's play narrative to be focused around baking.

My Forecast of 2022
Tiny House &
Slow & 
Self-Sufficient Life

I have noticed from my research that a dream house doesn't necessarily have to be large in size. People tended to be happier in life when they had more freedom and more control over their lives. Living in smaller homes satisfied these needs by actually allowing people to focus more of their time and energy on nature and the outdoor environment rather than on materialistic values. They spent more time in their gardens or farms and more time exploring the outdoors. A smaller home provided a larger level of freedom.

Rise of
Augmented Reality

I forecasted augmented reality will begin to permeate in our daily lives and will rise as the industry's main channel of interaction as we learn new ways to innovate on these systems.

 
 
Dreamhouse Layout

Children can expand the house as big as they want by placing the garden pieces. 

They can place the garden pieces anywhere near the house to cultivate vegetables, flowers and jewels.

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Plants inside the greenhouse grow more quickly and efficiently regardless of the weather, so children are able to play with these plants while waiting for others to grow in the garden.

The house is 360 degree rotatable, so children can play without limits.

The bed can easily turn into a sofa and table. Children enjoyed this types of transformation.

Building Process

AR View