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kSpace (short for kid's Space), is a VE experience which asks children to "imagine their future". kSpace features a garden of interactive touch-screen stations where children design buildings and vehicles of the future. Our child designers then proceed to a large-screen VR theatre to find their just-created models embedded in a 3D world.

Silouettes of children viewing their creations in the kSpace theatre

Entertainment: We find that many children leave the theatre and head straight back into the line-up. So why is kSpace so successful? We feel that the primary reason is that children experience a strong emotional connection as they themselves provide much of content: their digital images appear on vehicle number plates and billboard "advertising" whilst their highly personalized models are the focus of the flythrough.

Appropriateness: While kSpace is primarily concerned with an imagined future, we encourage connections with the past by incorporating cultural elements such as Hill's Hoists, road-trains, 1/4 acre lots, etc. Being physically isolated from the main gallery gives kSpace the freedom to appeal visually and aurally to children without interfering with other exhibits.

Throughput: Rather than an open-ended interactive exhibit with children clamouring for "their turn", a timed pipeline guarantees participation while accommodating up to 240 participants per hour. The pipeline consists of a waiting area (made tolerable by virtue of a large-screen layered animation showing past models, and more importantly, the photos of those waiting), a garden of 12 interactive touch-screen design stations, and the VR theatre. Each stage of the pipeline advances in lockstep with the others at 5 minute intervals, the total experience lasting about 12 minutes.

Interactivity: Initial plans to use interactivity within the theatre were dropped due to throughput considerations. Interactivity was instead introduced by allowing each child (or pair of children) to design content for inclusion in the subsequent 3D show. Children create vehicles and buildings through an intuitive touch-screen interface that requires no prior training but still allows for the generation of highly individual 3D models (shape, function, colour and texture).

Reaching Target Audience: While kSpace is nominally for children and young teens, Opening Day found many adults and seniors also passing through the exhibit. Without exception, feedback about kSpace has been positive and overwhelming. As a teacher of a visiting schoolgroup enthused, "you have managed to motivate the unmotivateable".

Quick Delivery and Completion: Despite the late start (relative to other content providers) and delays in fitout of the physical space, our small team met all contractual deadlines and delivered the production kSpace in time for the museum opening. As with our other installations, kSpace is complete, stable, and currently running about 80 shows per day.