Augmented Toys and Games Mature at Toy Fair 2013

As in each of the last few years Augmented Reality toys and games were very visible at Toy Fair in New York last week.

These games combine physical and digital interaction which is a fantastic way to get kids away from the traditional TV or computer screens and encourage them to interact with the physical world.

Here is a collection of Augmented products I discovered:

Barbie Digital Mirror Lets Kids Try on Makeup

Allow young kids to try out make up while avoiding all the mess. Can’t go wrong with that! The game uses the iPad camera to track faces.

Mattel Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle

The concept of augmenting dollhouses have been around for sometime (see Helen Papagiannis). This, I believe, is the first mass market dollhouse to support augmented reality.

Popar Books

We have seen many popup book, but Popar is the first to put so much effort into it. Popar is fully immersed in the AR industry and have product lines incorporating AR that are currently in the worldwide marketplace.

Sphero Ball And Sharky the Beaver

Orbotix introduced a fun innovation with its smartphone-controlled Sphero Ball last year. Now, they have enhanced it with an augmented reality character and matching games that augmented the ball. Leveraging robotics to create this form of augmented reality games seems like a great way to bring AR to the masses in a fun way. It overcomes many challenges facing the common AR approaches.

Imaginext Apptivity Fortress

Most of the game play still revolves around an iPad screen, but it’s an interesting attempt to combine physical and virtual play.

NeuroSky and PuzzleboxBrain waves controlling furry ears and a quadrocopter

Wii introduced physical games to millions of living rooms, and Microsoft Kinect made our bodies the controllers for games, but NeuroSky and Puzzlebox promises to not even require a body – just your mind to play. Here is a simple but awesome example how furry ears can be controlled by your brain waves alone. Next I wish to have such a tail!

Nuko Toys and Cards

Many studies have shown that physical hands-on interaction improves learning & memory. On that premise, Nuko adds cards interaction to their games. Is it truly augmenting the experience? You’ll be the judge.

Lego Mindstorms EV3

Lego amazing user-created robots have become more sophisticated and can be controlled by various sensors, and smartphones.

Cubelets

Somewhat similar to Sifteo (see next), but puts more focus on sensors and mechanics while Sifteo has slicker screens and focused on games that come to life through physical interaction.

Sifteo

Scan Games – trigger content on smartphones with QR codes and cards

Scan Game with AFV

Codigo Cube

Last but least on our list today…it’s cool that this game leverages QR Codes as an input for a smartphone trivia game, but the use in this game seems forced. Isn’t it a better experience to simply roll the dice on the phone screen itself? It might have been a great experience if the cube itself would have been augmented with graphics that truly enhance the experience.

Conclusion

Toy Fair 2013 featured a really nice collection of augmented toys and games which are spear heading the use of augmented reality for the masses. What will you build next?

Augmented Reality at Toy Fair 2013 – Next Week

In previous years Toy Fair, which is starting this weekend in New York City, was a showcase for the latest in augmented reality toys and connected play.

Some of the notable examples were:

WowWee’s AppGear showed off several games that combine the iPad with physical toys.

Mattel demoed the Hot Wheels game from its new Apptivity line of toys and corresponding iPad apps. Using one of the two cars included in the pack, players zoom along the racing track on their tablet’s screen, performing stunts and jumping over roadblocks along the way.

Nukotoys’ Animal Planet and Monsterology card games AR games let children learn about real animals or fake monsters (based on their title of choice) by choosing cards and swiping them in front of the tablet. The iPad detects the playing cards and displays information along with an animated version of the creature, which users can then control.

Slip your iPad into the GameChanger board, and you have two games at your fingertips. Animal Mania and Magic School Bus are included, but other games can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. The game board has pressure-sensitive fields that register the movements of players’ tokens.

Hasbro wouldn’t let us take video of the iPhone/iPod touch app that makes its new Lazer Tag Blaster so cool, but we can assure you that it puts augmented reality tech to good use. You can complete missions on your own or play against up to 24 players. Either way, your device’s screen is the viewfinder for targeting the red tip on opponents’ guns.

see more at: http://blog.laptopmag.com/augmented-reality-at-toy-fair-2012-the-top-apps-games-and-gadgets

 

What augmented reality toys and games will be showcased at ToyFair this year?

I’ll be there to find out!

 

 

AWE 2013 Registration is Open!

The Augmented World Expo 2013 (AWE 2013) today announced that registration is open for the 2013 event scheduled for June 4-5, 2013 in Santa Clara, California.  Now in its 4th year, Augmented World Expo™ (formerly Augmented Reality Event) is assembling the leading minds in augmented reality to showcase the world’s most innovative-augmented experiences that solve real world problems in all aspects of life, from entertainment, and brand engagement, to enterprise, industrial, and commerce applications.

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Attendees will experience the largest AR exposition ever created bringing together more than 100 companies, from the hottest startups and leading AR providers to Fortune 500, all developing technologies, solutions, and hardware for augmented humans in an augmented world.

AWE 2013 will include mind-blowing keynote addresses by Bruce Sterling (“The prophet of AR”), Will Wright (legendary creator of The Sims), and include over 35 hours of talks covering business, technology and design.

The AWE 2013 program is designed to address topics such as:

  • Current augmented reality market scope and its future
  • The most disruptive augmented reality innovations, engines and tools
  • Real showcases of revolutionary adoption of augmented reality projects
  • How to leverage AR to advance your brand, attract and keep customers
  • How to build meaningful products and campaigns that will delight users

Now through April 9th, early bird attendees receive a $200 discount (over 30%!) on the full conference pass.

Register Today!

Augmented World Expo™ (Formerly ARE) Opens Call For Proposals

Press release just announced:

AWE CARD

Computing is changing inside out. The world is now the platform. ARE is now AWE.

Augmented World Expo™ (AWE), announced today that the world’s largest gathering of designers, engineers and business leaders dedicated to solving real world problems in Augmented Reality is now accepting presentation proposals for the 2013 event. The deadline for proposal submissions is February 26, 2013.

The way we experience the world will never be the same. We no longer interact with computers. We interact with the world. A set of emerging interrelated technologies such as augmented reality, gesture interaction, eyewear, wearables, smart things, cloud computing, big data, and 3D printing are completely changing the way we interact with people, places and things. These technologies create a digital layer that empowers humans to experience the world in a more advanced, engaging, and productive way.

Augmented World Expo will showcase the best in augmented experiences covering all aspects of life: health, education, emergency response, art, media and entertainment, retail, manufacturing, brand engagement, travel, automotive, urban design, and more. It will be the largest exposition to bring together technologies for augmented humans in an augmented world.

Augmented Reality.ORG, the producer of AWE is proud to announce the maturing of an edgy conference about augmented reality into the world’s first expo dedicated to the augmented world.  If you loved ARE you are going to find Augmented World Expo the most important event of 2013.

AWE 2013 invites today’s technology leaders to learn, network, and share their expertise in technologies that change the way we interact with the world.  Presentations should cover a range of emerging technologies that relate to augmented reality such as gesture interaction, eyewear, wearables, smart things, cloud computing, big data, and 3D printing. Presenters can choose from a set of topics and industries that address the latest trends, strategies and business growth opportunities of the augmented world.

The AWE 2013 open call for proposals covers:

  • The Talks – 30 hours of sessions in 3 tracks: Business, Technology, and Production
  • The Auggies –  a series of Best Demo Awards
  • The ARt Gala – Augmented Reality art displays
  • The Startup Launch Pad – Showcase for innovative startups and competition
  • The Conference Expo – booths and displays on the exhibition floor
  • Augmented Future – Ground breaking ideas that will change the augmented world

AWE 2013 will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, on June 4-5, 2013 and is expected to draw 1,000 attendees. In addition to the presentation tracks, AWE 2013 will include mind-blowing keynotes by industry leaders on the main stage.  For more information and to submit your proposal, visit http://www.AugmentedWorldExpo.com/cfp 

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Augmented Reality.ORG is a global non-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing augmented reality (AR).

It unites hundreds of companies, and thousands of entrepreneurs, engineers and designers – committed to promoting the true potential of Augmented Reality (AR) – an emerging technology that digitizes interaction with the physical world. Acting as the trusted partner of its members and supporters, AR.ORG facilitates and catalyzes the global & regional transformation of the AR Industry.

AR.ORG also owns and produces the largest international event for augmented reality and the global stage for AR innovation – Augmented World Expo (formerly ARE) . All profits from the event are reinvested into AR.ORG’s industry services.

ARE 2012 1st Keynote Speaker Announced: Adrian David Cheok Inventor of “Krazy” Augmented Reality!

The line up of luminary speakers to keynote at ARE 2012, the world’s largest augmented reality event, will blow your mind.

The first we are revealing is Adrian David Cheok, Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media Design, in Tokyo Japan, as well as a Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum.

Dr. Cheok has been a hero of mine in pushing the envelop of augmented reality. He will join an amazing group of keynote speakers in previous years.

Adrian has been a champion of the idea that Augmented Reality is more than just about the visual sense, but has to include all the senses. Over the years, he’s been working hard to prove his idea and created many prototypes of augmented reality systems that involve the other senses.

To warm you up, check out his Hug Accentuator.

I can’t wait to see his Kissinger system in action.

(Hint: it’s not about the legendary statesman.)

Dr. Adrian David Cheok also created the first real world Pac Man game. When he wanted to create an exciting augmented reality game, he chose to remake the first video game to ever introduce a character – the legendary Pac Man. Cheok literally stepped into Pacman’s shoes in this first-person-shooter-like real world game.

Make sure to register for ARE 2012 before the early bird discount expires on March 21st.

Here is my exclusive discount code for Games Alfesco readers: ORI375AR

Here’s an excerpt from Adrian’s illustrious career so far:

Adrian David Cheok  was the Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore. and previously worked in real-time systems, soft computing, and embedded computing in Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, Japan.

Mr. Cheok has been working on research covering mixed reality, human-computer interfaces, wearable computers and ubiquitous computing, fuzzy systems, embedded systems, power electronics. He has successfully obtained funding for externally funded projects in the area of wearable computers and mixed reality from Nike, National Oilwell Varco, Defense Science Technology Agency, Ministry of Communications and Arts, National Arts Council, Singapore Science Center, Hougang Primary School. The research output has included numerous high quality academic journal papers, research awards, keynote speeches, international exhibitions, numerous government demonstrations including to the President and Prime Minister of Singapore, broadcast television worldwide broadcasts on his research (such as CNN/CNBC/ABC/Discovery/National Geographic etc.), and hundreds of international press media articles.

In addition, Mr. Cheok has been a keynote and invited speaker at numerous international conferences and events. He was invited to exhibit for two years in the Ars Electronica Museum of the Future, launching in the Ars Electronica Festival 2003. His works “Human Pacman”, “Magic Land”, and “Metazoa Ludens”, were each selected as one of the worlds top inventions by Wired and invited to be exhibited in Wired NextFest 2005 and 2007. More…

Early Registration for ARE 2012 is Open! Join The World’s Largest Augmented Reality Event

Friends, colleagues, and augmented reality enthusiasts at large – the early registration for ARE 2012 is open!

We are just 3 and a half months away from another Augmented Reality Event, the world’s largest AR event, and I can’t wait. As one of the event chairs, I can share with you a secret – ARE 2012 is going to be even bigger and better than before!

ARE 2012 will take place on May 8, 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.

ARE is where the people working on, and using, Augmented Reality technologies come together to explore best practices and innovations in software development, tools, business strategies, design and marketing. Developers, technologists, marketers, hardware manufacturers, mobile operators, researchers, designers, startups, business developers, and entrepreneurs gather to share their experiences and learn from their peers.

In 2011, over 530 buyers and builders of AR in entertainment, media, education, healthcare, government, tourism, automotive, sports and other vertical markets, united in the 2 day must-attend event in Silicon Valley.

With this proven track record and the tremendous momentum in the Augmented Reality industry, ARE 2012 will set a new record and draw attendees that seek to leverage augmented reality into a productive, sustainable and entertaining new medium. ARE 2012 will spotlight inspiring keynotes by industry luminaries, and feature more than a 100 speakers from leading AR companies in more than 30 sessions. Organized into business, technology and production tracks, the conference program is designed to address topics such as:

  • current augmented reality market scope and what’s expected in the next 5 years,
  • latest augmented reality innovations, engines and tools,
  • showcases and postmortems of landmark augmented reality projects
  • how to leverage AR to advance your brand, attract and keep your customers
  • and how to build successful campaigns and products that will delight users.

The exhibition floor unites all the leading providers of Augmented Reality services and products, and offers a fantastic opportunity to witness demonstrations, speak with the architects of these experiences and network with all participants in this exciting industry. Last year’s successful activities such as the ARt Gala, AR Start up launch pad, and The Auggies (best AR demo award) will return to delight attendees. The new Augmented Future plenary session will feature 5 ground breaking augmented reality ideas that will change the world.

Submissions

Awareness for augmented reality (AR) is building up and getting stronger and broader all over the world. I can see it by the number of submission for talks pouring in, covering all aspects of augmented reality and venturing into new topics and uncharted industries. Thank you for your fantastic contributions!

If you have an idea for the event, there is still time to submit your proposal for a talk, demo, or become a sponsor and exhibitor.

Schedule

We have published a first glimpse into ARE 2012 schedule to give you a sense of the event structure and the topics that will be tackled. Check out the preliminary schedule. This may still shift a little, but will certainly remain the event backbone. Would love to hear your feedback.

Registration discounts

Make sure to take advantage of the early bird registration. It will save you a $100 (or 20%) from the standard price. But you have to act before March 21st.

If you have ever attended an ARE event before – you are eligible for the Alumni rate. But that offer will only last until February 21 – so act really fast!

Become a member

We have added this year a new membership option. With a mere $49 you can become an official member of the Augmented Reality Event. What is that? A new ploy to extract more from attendees?

Well, first you should know that ARE is a non-profit organization, initiated for the sole purpose of helping to advance the Augmented Reality industry. The new membership has several purposes:

First, it is a new approach to gauge the interest and help fund the video recording and distribution of all event sessions. It has always been the achilles heel of the event. We never found the time and funds to properly edit and distribute the content. So if you are in favor of ARE videos – this is your opportunity to vote. The value of these videos extends way beyond the mere $49.

The second purpose is more strategic in nature. ARE has always been about raising awareness to AR and helping advance the industry. And yet, although it established itself as the largest global AR event, it only takes place once a year. But when you think about it, each year, key players across the industry see the value in taking the time and uniting with their peers for 2 days in Santa Clara; they extract tremendous value from this get together which persists for many subsequent months. So, how about we use this opportunity to build a formal community that will join forces in helping promote awareness to augmented reality on a global and local basis? How about we extend the magic for the entire year?

We are not yet sure where this will go, but thought we should give it a go. If people sign up and show solidarity, it will be a great motivator to keep it going even after we all leave Santa Clara.

At the event, ARE members will bear a distinguishable badge, so you will be able to spot them from afar. So make your choice: do you want to be that guy with the plain-looking badge? ;)

Seriously, if you care about raising awareness to AR, and want to contribute as well as benefit from this program, join the ARE membership this year. The videos alone are worth the cost. The free T-shirt makes it a steal. Helping spread the word about AR is…priceless.

Register for ARE 2012 here

Can’t Wait for the NBA Season to Kick-off? Play King of the Court Today!

For the past few years, I have been documenting my pursuit of the ultimate augmented reality experience. NBA King of the Court, recently launched by Ogmento on the iPhone app store and the Android Market, is a major landmark for me along this fascinating path.

King of the Court has the ingredients of a deeply engaging game:  a free-to-play casual mechanic that anyone feels compelled to play (shooting hoops to become king of the court), a deeper strategy level that draws you in (protect and extend your kingdom by carefully managing your resources), social rivalry that gets under your skin (schooling your friends and foes in daily competitions), all wrapped up in one of the world’s most favorite sport franchise – the NBA.

Players attest that what makes this game an inseparable part of their everyday life is the fact that the virtual courts are located in their real neighborhoods: at their office, their grocery store, their bank, and that isolated shady bar they can’t really remember how they got there. When the courts are an integral part of your daily routine, the game feels more real. Or like the McNuggets (sadly) unforgettable commercial says: “slams are even dunkier.”

When an alert pops up on your phone, announcing that your treasured and highly customized home court has been attacked (see mine in this post), it gets pretty visceral and hard to remain on the sidelines.

Ogmento quietly launched King of the Court 10 days ago and already tens of thousands of players all over the world can’t get enough of it. That’s why I’d like to share with you a sneak preview of the new update that will take the game to the next level:

• Royal Courts! – Climb the royal ranks and face off against players worldwide to become King of the World!

• Customize your player – Pick your favorite NBA team jersey as your avatar or use your Facebook photo!

• Bigger and Better Leaderboards! Ranking with fans of individual teams and royal court rankings

• Recruitment Bonuses! Get more Basketballs when inviting friends to play!

• Extra Holiday cheer!

Now, here’s an invaluable and timely tip exclusively for Games Alfresco readers: when the NBA season starts (finally!) on Christmas day with much fanfare about the game, the tide of players will rise and the stakes will get much higher. So to stay on top and ride the wave all the way to the finals, grab your local courts today, land the highest score by any means necessary (99 cents can get your pretty far), and promptly fortify them with killer defense power ups. By the time the tide comes rushing in you’ll be riding the wave, collecting royalties for your courts and asserting yourself as THE unassailable king. Rule the courts! Rule the world!

Are you taking control of your neighborhood yet?

Share with us your experience on facebook and twitter.

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