平成15年度未踏ソフトウェア創造事業  採択案件評価書



 Alan Kay(アラン ケイ)  (President, Viewpoints Research Institute )



Abe Kazuhiro(阿部 和広)(有限会社ビューポイントテクノロジー 代表取締役社長)


Tetsuya Hayashi(林 徹也)






 Squeak Trek - Adventures with World-Stethoscopes




We propose a new devise called 'world-stethoscope', which translates different phenomena into sounds. By using the device with supportive morphs in SqueakToys, our real world can be connected to the computer world. It would provide a new kind of laboratory for children. We also integrate NetMorph with the new system to achieve the collaborative works of the children all over the world.
In Squeak, there is an intuitive tile-scripting environment called SqueakToys, where we can develop visible objects (morphs) by attaching various attributes and behaviors from tile palettes. In the United States, interesting workshops have been held in which the SqueakToys simulation system and outdoor field works are applied together so that children themselves can find natural laws.
Squeak has the ability to get sounds and graphics as sampling data and represent them as morphs. However, these data are mainly extracted from digital sources (from local files or via network). Currently Squeak does not provide any handy way to get physical data such as length, weight, temperature, and trends of them. We have to do tedious key-typing to input these measured data to Squeak.
In the above-mentioned workshop, students themselves need to type the various sampling data from video camera, stopwatch, tape measure, etc.
Fieldworks and experiments are essentially interesting, but if we cannot provide a seamless flow between them, those pleasures would be lost.
We do not think that measurement is just extracting the numerical values from natural phenomena. It has its own power, because it can have various reciprocal effects on models
that are built in computer world.
Measurement is the inter-bridge of the real world and virtual, simulated world. In order to make assumptions or build models freely, the real-time feedback of the measurements
to computer models and the observation of them from different perspectives are really important.
In the proposal, we propose an environment (including hardware device) for that purpose so that children can probe both worlds smoothly.


This is an innovative project to allow children to easily connect up many different kinds of sensors and import what they sense in real-time into the children's Squeak etoy projects. This will help all children, especially in learning science with Squeak.


This was an adventurous and useful project to make an inexpensive set of sensors that work with the Squeak Etoy authoring system for children. Several prototypes of the interface were made and shown, along with a nice integration to the software. The researchers not only created several prototypes but also had a chance to do testing and evaluation with several groups of children and teachers. This research has strong potential to become a commercial product for use in schools, homes and science/activity centers, not only in Japan, but worldwide. This project can be an example of how IPA funded projects can turn into commercially valuable products in Japan. We plan to use these sensors in our own educational work with children both in Japan and in the rest of the world.


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