How to Get the Next Generation Hooked on Augmented Reality – Today: Part II

In my previous post “How to Get the Next Generation Hooked on Augmented Reality – Today” we explored the value of mobile educational games.

Most of these games were built for PDAs relying on a GPS, but did not include real time visuals of the real world (AR Tracking).

These PDAs are now obsolete.

In order to make it appealing for Kids, we’ll have to put in their hands something more trendy; iPhone, G1, Nokia N85, or a Mobile Internet Device (MID) come to mind.

But here’s the rub: will you give your toddler your precious smartphone? Your iPhone (God forbid) ?

What if electronics manufacturers raise to the occasion and create dedicated mobile devices for education?

Here are the Mobile Learning Devices already in progress:

One remarkable and noble project already in flight is project Inkwell.

The project’s ambitious goal is to create technology standards for the K-12 industry including defining the specifications for an Inkwell learning device. The design is by IDEO Spark.

It does not have a camera yet. But once mobile learning games break free – I am sure Inkwell will update its specs to include a camera.

Two other companies take a more commercially oriented approach (read: practical) introducing education oriented mobile devices (not yet AR enabled) such as 
VTech’s Create-A-Story

or LeapFrog’s Leapster and Didj.

These are less expensive devices that target a smaller niche.

Will these dedicated mobile learning devices be able to take a bite from the 800 pound gorillas in mobile gaming: Nintendo DS and Sony PSP ?

Will these devices drive the next generation’s Augmented Learning experience?

In my post about the new Nintendo DSi, I highlight the innovation and track record that has characterized Nintendo over the years. They will certainly fight the recent attempts in mobile learning devices with all their might.

Or will the iPhones and iClones of the world, with their massive adoption and cool factor, rule the mobile learning market after all?

What do you think?

One Response

  1. I think, despite Job’s claims, the iPhone has a long way to go to become a gaming platform able to complete with the DS or PSP.

    The problem isnt the specs or interface, its simply a mater of price. The iPhone is only a “reasonable” price if you go for a contract….something most gamers arnt looking for.
    Untill the per-unit cost is low enough to be sold without a contract subsidizing it, I dont think it can challenge the handhelds directly.

    I think, however, the timing of the iPhone , Andriod and the like is quite perfect to encourage Nintendo and Sony to shape their next-gen systems towards AR.

    Nintendo will no dought make a AR-based gaming system with their normal solid-state and “stupidly durable” design.
    Sony will make something faster/high spec, and go for the “cool” market.

    Either way, I think propergation of iPhones, Andrios and AR technologys on them wont be ignored by them.

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