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 Puzzlebox – Brain 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?

6 Responses

  1. Codigo Cube, Cubelets ah… I love these type of games..

  2. […] (AR) sector, with the games and toys industry as the most obvious beneficiary. Take a look at these AR toys at the Toy Fair 2013, for instance. I already admire what’s being done now (via mobile phones and computers), but […]

  3. Thank you Ori!!!
    But the best AR games remain the ones you were showing at ISMAR2012!
    Especially one that made the whole house a giant AR toy !-) (genius!)
    When will the masses have it!?
    Let me know if collaboration is needed!

    Ciao!

    Giovanni

  4. […] (AR) sector, with the games and toys industry as the most obvious beneficiary. Take a look at these AR toys at the Toy Fair 2013, for instance. I already admire what’s being done now (via mobile phones and computers), but […]

  5. Ori, all of these are impressive, but the one that has me most intrigued are the NeuroSky and Puzzlebox. How do you use your brain to control these toys? I have to try this out. It’s like something out of a science fiction movie.

  6. […] (AR) sector, with the games and toys industry as the most obvious beneficiary. Take a look at these AR toys at the Toy Fair 2013, for instance. I already admire what’s being done now (via mobile phones and computers), but […]

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