The Smart Primer is a narrative-based education system inspired by Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel, The Diamond Age. In the novel a young girl receives a book at age 5 that, by the time she is 18, gives her a complete education. In the girl’s novel, she herself is the main character, and the events in her story mirror the real world around her.

Our primer attempts to use narrative storytelling, along with real-world information (location, weather, family members, time of day, etc.) to create a similar system. The child reads the story, and in order to progress further, must venture out into the world around them, complete and activity, and return with he knowledge gained before they can proceed.

On this project, I worked on developing the ideas from the novel into ones feasible with today’s technology. I brainstormed tasks and storyline plots, tested those on participants, and wrote a full length story activity the inspired early prototypes. I also created and presented a poster (right) at Stanford’s Open House during CHI 2016 (700 people from the conference attended the event).