5 Augmented Reality Toys That Bring Play to a New Dimension
One of the quickest growing and developing technologies out there right now is augmented reality. It’s taking its own stage at the Consumer Electronics Show, driving new app use cases, and fashion trends. One of the things in common with most of these headlines is that they’re targeted at adults. But what about kids?
Because augmented reality doesn’t require headsets or special equipment, it is extremely accessible for children to use. And even so, at this point in time, children have become just as big of technology users as their parents. In fact, almost half of children under 8 have a tablet or device of their own. This makes kids just as tech-hungry as adults.
What do these new developments in augmented reality technology mean for kids and the future of play?
Merge VR’s augmented reality Cube puts new methods of play and learning right in kids’ hands. Users download games to their smartphone or tablet, and view the cube through a lens that transforms it into a model of a human skull, a tool in a game, or a planet that teaches about the solar system. Toys like the Cube will revolutionize learning and comprehension. When children can connect to the things they learn about, especially in tangible ways, knowledge retention increases.
Osmo’s Mindracers bridges the gap between reality and fantasy by sending toy cars into a new dimension. The car they choose to race is sent into the Osmo iPad dock and appears in the digital world, even allowing users to place physical obstacles that become digital for their opponent to dodge. This type of toy helps kids explore digital worlds and see things they have never seen before. It encourages curiosity and imagination.
Seedling’s Parker teddy bear teaches kids STEAM essentials through caring for the sick bear. Through a device camera, kids can interact with the bear to see and cure its ailments through minigames. While encouraging interest in math, engineering and art, the bear also encourages empathy and understanding of others.
Draw & Code’s SwapBots bring ultimate customization capabilities to the physical and digital world. Kids can mix and match to create their own tiny robots with varied head, torso and leg pieces, then bring the bots into the virtual world with environmental details and a 3D view when their bot battles another. Toys like SwapBots encourage kids to think beyond reality and where their imagination can take them.
Lego recently released an augmented reality studio app to help bring creations to 3d life. The Lego app combines real-life structures in the digital world to construct custom interactions and animations that create a cohesive, immersive experience for users. This helps kids understand interactions, reactions and building.