Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Visual and Performing Arts

Committee Chair

Zhenyu (Cheryl) Qian

Committee Member 1

Tong Jin (TJ) Kim

Committee Member 2

Yingjie (Victor) Chen


The research proposes an in-car entertainment system for children to relieve their in-car boredom and further enhance the travel experience. While more and more attention has already been paid on human-car interaction, there is still very limited research considering the interaction between back seat passengers and the car. This project aims to explore the new research area and solve the problems for the children passengers. Based on the research (Price & Matthews, 2013; Wilfinger et al., 2011), many parents reported the quality time they spent with their children in the car was invaluable. Due to the limited space of a car, car travelling is a perfect opportunity to pull a family together and build the memory. However, the travel experience with children is usually not so pleasant for the parents. More than 60% of parents in the survey (Daily Mail, 2011) admitted that travelling without children made them happier. Besides, driving with children also possibly compromise driving safety. According to the previous studies (Koppel, Charlton, Kopinathan, & Taranto, 2011; Wilfinger et al., 2011), children in the car are 12 times more distracting than using cell phone while driving. And the most distracting child-related activities are 1. Looking back at their children, 2. Helping the children and 3. Playing with their children. If searching the keywords about traveling with children, plenty of strategies are suggested to help parents overcome the difficulty. Among them, one of the most mentioned methods is entertainment. Therefore, I further do the user research to understand the real users and their travel experience especially on the entertainment devices. And I found they are having a hard time in preparing the entertainment devices for their children, figuring out what can be played in the car, selecting the adequate toys for the limited space and worrying about the children’s eyes health. With the findings and insights, I generate the designs iteratively. Finally I proposed a system composed of three major components- 1. Mobile Application, 2. Interactive Block- BlokCar and 3. AR Interactive Window. The mobile application helps to better plan and prepare for the trip and also provide a variety of entertainment resources for the users during the car travel. When they arrive, the application records the travel history automatically and generate the memorable data. On the children’s side, they play with the interactive block which is connected with the mobile application so both of the parents or the children can engage in. Instead of allowing children to play games on the digital devices, the interactive block attempts to entertain children without compromising the eyes health and to create the variations of toys. Finally, the AR interactive window broadens the playground and allows the children to interact with the surroundings. The whole system is cross-media interactive and location-based. It aims not only to solve the problems of the current travel experience, but also to create the values of a family trip.