The Bee Box
Combining Mixed Reality and Tangible User Interfaces for Collaborative Storytelling in Education

The Bee Box is a mixed reality, nature-based educational storytelling experience meant to be interacted with by two players. The Bee Box consists of a physical, miniature garden box with real soil and moss, and a virtual rendering of this garden box to be explored within a VR headset. The player at the physical board takes the role of a gardener, while the player in the VR environment takes the role of a bumblebee. The task of the two players is to collaborate towards enabling the bumblebee to pollinate the garden and live within a healthy ecosystem.

This is a design exploration of meaningful collaborative pathways between physical and digital environments in education contexts. This experience is enabled technologically by bidirectional sensor-based feedback, in which actions done on the physical board result in meaningful changes in the virtual environment, and vice versa. We contend that such a mixed reality design has many potential applications, including other educational domains as well as within therapeutic and social computing contexts.

Full paper here.

In collaboration with: Qianyi Chen, Akash Mahajan, Yuting Wang, and Yiyao Yang.

Final project for NWMEDIA C262: Theory and Practice of Tangible User Interfaces, taught by Professor Kimiko Ryokai in Fall 2021 at UC Berkeley School of Information.

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