Technological furniture that incorporates interactive games for children has been installed in Charlestown as part of a $2.8 million transformation of Pearson Street Mall.
The transformation includes three pieces of gamified, "high tech, high touch" furniture - a four bench section with a music memory game, nine benches with a whack a mole style game and two benches playing audio, where visitors can sit and listen to works by local musicians and children.
The furniture technology is part of Lake Macquarie City Council's Charlestown CREATE activation project.
It was designed by local creative and education company Codewise, whose founder Joe Haig pitched the idea to council after creating a music and design app called Twang in 2017.
"The idea is a handheld game but on a much larger scale," said Mr Haig, who is a local school teacher.
"It's a bit like what we do at school, like a STEM project you would assign kids."
Mr Haig said as well as engaging those who come to visit, he hoped the installation would encourage children to think more about algorithms and coding.
"We're absolutely thrilled, it has turned out better than I hoped it would and better than what we pitched to council," Mr Haig said. "We want to eventually roll it out to shopping centres."
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the transformation, which includes public art installations and refurbishment works, would help create a more vibrant public space in the heart of Charlestown.
"The revitalisation works have delivered safer, pedestrian-friendly access through the mall, new landscaping, new mature trees and exciting smart technology used for lighting and street furniture," Cr Fraser said.
"It presents a range of opportunities for revitalising local business and for our community to come together around events, markets, live music and food trucks."
The program was funded by the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund and Lake Macquarie Council.
The community is invited to celebrate the completion of the mall and experience its interactive elements at Live Music and Tech @ Pearson Street Mall on May 15.
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