Western Power approached Sentient to develop an Augmented Reality (AR) app that educated primary school students on how to identify common electrical equipment they might encounter around their homes, on their walk to school or playing in the park and how to identify any potential hazards.
The aim was to develop an app that tasked students to apply critical thinking skills to decide what was safe and unsafe as an extension to learning presented in Western Power’s Sparky book series that introduces electrical safety concepts to students.
Develop an AR app that:
Sentient created the AR app to feature the central character of Western Power’s Sparky the Dog. The learner must take Sparky for a walk and keep him safe from the potential AR electrical hazards that are dispersed throughout the app environment.
In each scenario, AR electrical equipment is randomly presented in a damaged (unsafe) or undamaged (safe) condition in which the learner must decide which equipment is safe for Sparky to interact with, and which is unsafe so he must stay away.
Points are scored for the correct identification of safe and unsafe situations. A 3-part quiz at the end of the app tests whether the learner can identify electrical equipment they encountered during the app.
At the end of the quiz, a personalised certificate is generated that can be downloaded to the device and collated by the teacher for access and analysis of student performance outside of the app.
The Sparky app was downloaded more than 1100 times within the first 3 months of its release on the Apple app store in June 2022. It is currently being used in schools around WA and as part of school lessons carried out by Western Power.
Student feedback has been consistent: they enjoy using the app as part of their lesson learning about electrical safety. Students feel they are more engaged than in traditional lessons because interacting with a cartoon dog running around the playground is a fun way to learn and they are physically moving around while learning.
They also feel that using the app is improving the way they learn and their ability to retain identification of electrical dangers by being able to safely view electrical equipment from all angles, such as looking inside a substation.