What are my initial ideas?
When we first heard about the brief I had no idea what to do as I’d never done anything like this before. With the ever growing internet access, technology use and apps becoming the new main source of media interaction, I knew that an application for smartphones or iPads would be a good idea. These are some of my initial ideas that I wrote down after we had visited the Jurassic Coast to just play around with some ideas and see whether there was anything I liked and could move forward with.
Family Fun Day
I would link my work with the National Trust.
It would centre predominantly in Weymouth including its beaches and cliffs.
I would mainly target families as transport wouldn’t be an issue and its something they might want to do together.
I want to make a family fun day to bring people down to the coast and enjoy it for what it is with an interactive twist.
There will be activities for kids, teens and adults all with a historic/educational twist either to do with the Jurassic coast or just history in general.
App/piece of software to create their own raft.
Done in the sea, around a buoy and back to shore, first one back wins.
Big screen, raft designs, who’s in the lead etc, GPS tracking system.
What pops straight into your head when ‘The Jurassic Coast’ is mentioned?
An archaeological dig
A GPS system – orienteering
Oculus rift sets
There will be food tents, alcohol tents for parents (yet to be determined) and bouncy castles and other such things for the kids to do when they’re not taking part in the activites.
App of the Jurassic Coast
I could also do an app based project where there will be an interactive map of the Jurassic coast coastline and further inland.
There’d be specific places you could click on and a puzzle, historical quiz or a riddle would pop up about that place.
I could add more to this whenever I wanted to, so release updates.
Helps kids learn and have a good time, it would be free, maybe get some money from ads?
The Fun Day
In the end, looking at both ideas, I decided to got for the fun day as I thought there would be more to work with, it’d get kids out of the house and actually see the beauty of the coast and was more interactive than just an app.
I wanted to keep the idea of an app involved within this idea as well though so I thought, when the date of this was released, I’d release an app/piece of software that the teams who wanted to compete in the race would download and then go about building a blueprint or structure of their raft and then go about building it from there. They could then save this and upload it to a location on the Facebook page or perhaps the website for this event and everyone can see. Because this is an educational day as well as an interactive one, I thought about how I could do both with this raft race and came up with giving each team a template of a historical ship that they could then make their own by making modifications and touch ups to. Famous ships could include ‘The HMS Victory’ or ‘The Golden Hind’ and they might have to research it to see what era these ships came from and why they were famous. This is one of my earlier pictures that I drew up to show how the race might look but I thought this would be too easy for people who’d spend a long time building their rafts.
I didn’t want the rafts to go all out to sea however as if it capsizes then there could be trouble so I wanted to keep it as close to the coastline and to help as possible. This is when I decided that the only real place I’m using is the beach so why not branch out and use the harbour? Therefore I looked at OS maps and google maps and came up with a rough idea of where the course would go which would be entertaining for the onlookers and also make the most of the rafts that people spent time and effort building.
For the people that cannot or do not for any reason want to follow the raft race by land, I wanted to hire a big screen, like the one below, that we could shop the progression of the rafts on and say who is in the lead, etc. For this to work I’d attach a GPS beacon or tracker onto each raft and this will be relayed back onto the screen with a map that shows the rafts moving from the beach, to the ocean and then into the harbour.
The Archaeological Dig
Of course children can join in with the raft race as long as they’re accompanied by an adult, but I thought it’d be best to have activities just for them. When I first thought of the Jurassic Coast, it made me think of the film, Jurassic Park and so it got me thinking: how could I link the two things? The idea is that one of the cliffs has collapsed and with it, dinosaur bones, eggs and other such treasures have been dislodged and spilled over the beaches. The children need to help ‘archaeologists’ dig out these bones etc and if they find anything, they get prizes for it. This is similar to what some carnivals and theme parks have like panning for gold or jewels but this is more interesting and has a direct, if not distant, link to the coast. Once the bones etc are excavated, we can build the model and display it somewhere in Weymouth as a memory of this event.
The problem I had with my event so far was that most of the activities, if not all of them, were located down by the beach and not around the countryside and scenery of the coast. I remember doing D of E in sixth form and roaming the countryside so thought, why not do some orienteering with some form of digital addition? I came up with the idea of having a GPS locator that you’d have to follow around the countryside. You’d have a co-ordinate to go to, once there, it would come up with a riddle/question about the Jurassic Coast which you’d have to answer to get the next set of co-ordinates and once answered, a letter/word would appear that you’d have to form a word or phrase from at each interval and at the end, if you solve the riddle/complete the phrase, you win a prize. Again, this is an educational as well as fun day out for kids and parents a like and will hopefully get them more akin to the coast than before.
There is a new fad called ‘contactless payment’ that is starting to appear on many debit cards which looks like a sideways wi-fi signal. This entitles you to pay for anything with just moving your card over the machine and the payment goes through, as long as it’s under £20. I decided to take this idea and give out these cards when people arrived and use it for my day but with a catch. You wouldn’t need to put money on it as you could gather points from the activities you do and then pay for food and drink with these points you’ve collected. This makes people contribute more and helps them strive toward a goal for the day, but obviously, you can still pay using normal money.
I know, myself being included, that when it comes to digital media artefacts, most boys and men think about Xbox’ and Ps3’/4′. I didn’t want to go down that route as its been done before, but decided to look into other gaming ideas and Oculus Rift caught my eye. This is a new piece of technology which is a headband that you put over your head and look through and its a virtual reality mounted display basically, meaning you control where you look and you don’t need a screen anymore. Not many people have the opportunity to play on this yet so I wanted to secure one for this fun day that people could play on. I’d maybe create a 3D image map of the Jurassic Coast and to keep the idea of dinosaurs going, maybe have the players having to escape from dinosaurs etc to have fun but also to get to know the coast as well.