CHILDREN’S outdoor play will evolve with technology as a City of Wanneroo park becomes Australia’s first ‘smart playground’ that combines digital and physical activities.
Kinkuna Park in Eglinton will next Tuesday be fitted out with multisensory technology where parents can download a free smartphone app that reacts to markers attached to playground equipment.
The markers send instructions for playground games to the smartphone, which the parent remains in control of, creating an engaging imaginary scenario combined with outdoor play.
Mayor Tracey Roberts said the three-month trial had been made possible in partnership with Satterley Property Group and LandCorp who were developing the Allara estate, with the City proud to host Australia’s first smart playground.
“As a Council we are committed to building healthy, safe, vibrant and connected communities, and our youngest residents are sure to welcome this clever new technology,” she said.
“The smart playground games have been specifically designed to get children active and playing for longer, while also increasing engagement between children and their families.”
Satterley chief executive Nigel Satterley said the park was already equipped with free WiFi.
“We have a lot of young families living in the Allara estate and I am confident that they will take full advantage of the benefits of interactive, outdoor play,” he said.
“What makes it better still is that the smart playground app remembers what activities children did previously, so new challenges are issued each time they visit, effectively reinventing the park.”
Following the trial, Council will decide if the technology should be introduced at other parks within the City.
Mayor Roberts said visitors to Kinkuna Park, and other members of the community, were encouraged to provide important feedback to the City to assist with Council’s decision making processes.
Installation of the technology at other parks would cost about $2000 per playground.
The technology will also collect data to help the City decide where new playgrounds should be installed and what types of equipment would be best suited.