Between the increasing pull of screen time, highly structured activities, and concern for perceived risks outside the home, we have become an increasingly interior, sedentary society. What might we create to encourage Canadians to play outside and reconnect with the physical world around them, and each other, to improve well-being?
Expedition Lite – SHAD Calgary
Through Expedition Lite, those with physical disabilities and mobility challenges can explore and enjoy the outdoors despite challenging terrain. Expedition Lite enhances users’ own wheelchairs with three innovative attachable features that increase user efficiency and safety on an assortment of ground surfaces. Expedition Lite will help users transcend their restricted mobility and enjoy outdoor active living.
BeamChase - SHAD Carleton
BeamChase brings the traditional game of indoor laser tag to the great outdoors. With the use of infrared technology, a phone attachment and an app, players can interact with each other while immersing themselves in the outdoor world. BeamChase aims to make users beam with excitement.
PlayAway – SHAD Carleton (Wildcard)
Wearable, portable, and durable, PlayAway allows for real-time radio wave communication between parents and children, as well children and their friends. With fun features such as a compass, a magnifying glass, and a flashlight incorporated into the ergonomic design, this versatile device encourages children to explore the outdoors. PlayAway allows children to be equipped with the tools to provide an engaging outdoor experience while maintaining connection to a parent, making this product beneficial and practical for both parent and child.
SkyGarden – SHAD Dalhousie
SkyGarden is a vertical modular gardening system for high-rises that transforms frequently unused balcony space into a green, aesthetically-pleasing space, incenting Canadians to go outside and indulge in a unique form of play through gardening. SkyGarden will provide ideal growing space for various different plants, including pots and adjustable supports. Pots will be ideally angled to obtain maximum sunlight and to optimize growing space. Customers will enjoy freedom and diversity in terms of what they can grow in their SkyGarden.
PlayPod – SHAD Dalhousie (Wildcard)
The PlayPod is a freestanding, modular pod that loans sports equipment free of charge, facilitated by library card infrastructure. PlayPod will promote spontaneous play by providing easy, no-cost access to equipment. PlayPod is designed for installation in public parks and on school grounds. While available for use to all citizens, the PlayPod will particularly benefit low-income families, making outdoor play more accessible.
Monsterra – SHAD Queen's
Monsterra, a smartphone app, is a game designed to help children incorporate outdoor recreation into their daily lives. With its unique blend of geocaching, and the interactive appeal of augmented reality, Monsterra offers a tangible character for its users to interact with in the real world. Unlike traditional augmented reality apps, Monsterra is also available on third-party products, creating a larger audience appeal.
CloudTable – SHAD Lakehead
Addressing growing dependence on electronics, and concerns for children’s safety, CloudTable will modernize playgrounds. CloudTable incorporates social networking, scheduling, and game suggestions, and tackles safety issues through an integrated mobile app, a website, and an interactive, electronic table at the playground. CloudTable acknowledges the community importance of local neighborhood playgrounds, and will revitalize them in an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and health improving fashion.
Breathable – SHAD Laval
The Breathable winter running mask encourages running outside in the winter by reducing the discomfort associated with breathing in dry, cold air. To counter the negative effects of winter running on the respiratory system, Breathable targets three key issues: heating and humidity, structure and attachment, and aesthetics.
StepStory – SHAD McMaster
StepStory is an interactive audio book adventure for children aged 6-10 that encourages outdoor play and imagination. StepStory is a palm-sized device, clipped onto clothing, which narrates a story for the child to experience. The child’s actions are then monitored by an accelerometer, gyroscope, and GPS to determine the game’s progression. By taking the appeal of technology and bringing it outside, StepStory helps children to reconnect with the physical world.
Get Out and Go (GOGO) – SHAD Memorial
Get Out and GO (GOGO) combines society’s love of technology with outdoor events and activities, encouraging people to get into the great outdoors. GOGO is a free app that provides an array of personalized, upcoming, and popular outdoor events & activities for users to participate in throughout the year, all while gifting users with points which can be used to redeem discounts and rewards from their favourite businesses.
EnthusiACTIVE – SHAD Saskatchewan
Inactive middle-class adults currently cost the economy just under $6 billion annually from increased health care costs and decreased productivity. This is in part because immediate priorities, like work, take precedence over play. EnthusiACTIVE is a consulting business that works with companies to schedule, organize and oversee recreational outdoor activities for employees, for one to five hours per week. EnthusiACTIVE helps adults easily fit play into their daily schedules, and leads to a significant return on investment through increased productivity, retention, and unity of employees.
Venture – SHAD UBC
Subscription boxes are becoming increasingly popular. Venture is a monthly subscription box encourages participation in activities outside by providing planning and equipment for an adventure in the natural world. Each curated box contains items tailored to a monthly theme, such as gardening, ice skating, or birdhouse building. The items and activities in each box will be geographically based, and will get Venturers interacting with their community. Venture will appeal to those in urban centres who need extra motivation to get outside.
AiRiA – SHAD UNB
Eighty percent of North American families own a barbecue. Each produces one tonne of carbon dioxide per year, causing global warming and ozone depletion to double melanoma rates and decrease the safety of the outdoors. AiRiA is a barbecue attachment that captures carbon dioxide emitted by barbecues to create high-quality, low-cost fertilizer while reducing harmful outdoor environmental effects – making it easier for people to go outside.
HydraChew – SHAD UNB (Wildcard)
Dehydration is a problem when spending time outside, and can easily go undetected. This problem can affect athletes who play outdoor sports but have trouble identifying dehydration early enough to stop its detrimental effects. HydraChew is a colour-changing gum that informs users about their state of hydration.
TopPlay – SHAD Waterloo
Many children living in lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods do not go outside to play. Run-down facilities and abandoned buildings create unattractive and fearful environments for children, and safety concerns for parents. TopPlay uses high-rise rooftops as recreation areas. TopPlay includes a scaled-down soccer field, a gymnasium court for multipurpose play, a garden, and a playground with portable swings, slide, and seesaw structures. Twinned with TopPlay is SecurePlay, an optional app that parents can download to monitor their children in real time.