Thursday, September 20, 2018
AR gamesAugmented RealityGamesMobile AR Apps

“Smart Ball” with Augmented Reality Features Encourages Active Outdoor Playing

Smart toy company WRLDS launches innovative smart ball with augmented reality features engaging players in outdoor activities.

An innovative smart ball developed by WRLDS is paired with augmented reality features in order to encourage players to lead a more active life. The smart toy connects to a smartphone or tablet via bluetooth to access the associated apps for iOS and Android. The smart ball is made of a bouncy and lightweight material and is designed to be attractive and easy to use by children and teens, encouraging them to explore the outdoors and exercise.

 

Augmented Reality Features in a Real World Toy

The co-founder and CEO of WRLDS, Felix von Heland, explained the reasons why the company developed this innovative toy:

We wanted to bridge the gap between the two ‘wrlds’ we love: gaming and being outdoors. The WRLDS ball is ideal for a range of games — from simple hand/eye coordination games to sports games, social games and new takes on augmented reality games. Just imagine playing Pokémon GO and actually throwing a real ball at the Pokémon rather than just staring at the screen.

WRLDS “Smart Ball” with Augmented Reality FeaturesBy adding cutting edge technology to one of the simplest toys in the world, the company hopes that more young people and teens will rediscover the joy of outdoor playing. To make their activities more exciting, the WRLDS smart ball is made of a very lightweight and durable material named “Moon Foam” – a material developed by the seed investor Waboba. This material has a bounce return rate of over 70%, making it one of the bounciest materials currently available.

The smart ball with augmented reality features is the size of a tennis ball, thus it is easy to handle even by young children.

See Also:  Designing for Mobile AR When the World is Your Interface

 

Elements of Nature Become AR Game Characters

The augmented reality features of the game include the “Water Soul”, the first AR character developed by WRLDS. It will be joined in the near future by the Fire, Earth and Wind Souls. Each character will have its own unique personality and physical features.

These holographic characters will be set in motion by components inside the smart ball. These are similar to parts inside a smartphone:

  • Accelerometer to record g-force, movement and impact;
  • Nordic Semiconductor chip;
  • Encapsulated CPU with sensors that use Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with a smartphone.

Thus, the actual motion data is transmitted to the smartphone where it is interpreted and used within the augmented reality features and games, allowing the players to:

  • Interact with the real world and the AR game at the same time;
  • Create color splashes and shapes in the augmented reality environment;
  • Interact with map-based games and conquer or redesign real-world places, such as New York, San Francisco Bay Area or London;
  • Create artwork or funny noises by throwing and bouncing the ball.
See Also:  Plugo, an Augmented Reality Game that Encourages Children’s Learning and Physical Development

 

Get Out and Enjoy AR Games – An Innovative Way of Blending Screen Time with Exercising

WRLDS “Smart Ball” with Augmented Reality FeaturesToo much time spent looking at the mobile screen is already a serious issue for parents across the globe. Their children are immersed in social media, in various augmented reality features and games and forget to explore the real world outside.

WRLDS is trying to create a compromise with the smart ball: offering real life activities paired with exciting augmented reality games. The first WRLDS smart ball models will be available with four augmented reality experiences:

  • United: the gamers have to team up and show off their skills in speed, quick reflexes and accurate coordination. There is no limit to the number of players, but there can be only one winner;
  • Splash: this game is map-based and involves bouncing the ball against solid surfaces to create AR splashes marking the conquered territory. Each player has a specific color or pattern assigned to them; they can play individually or in teams;
  • Squeesh: farting noises are among the most popular pranks – the more players bounce the smart ball, the more noise they make;
  • Souls: engage in battle with the Ancient Souls monsters and eat their souls to move to the next level in the game. This is a strictly single player game – no alliances can be formed.

These are just the first games to be available with the smart ball with augmented reality features developed by WRLDS – more will be launched in the near future. The dedicated app will be soon available on Google Play and Apple App Store. The smart ball itself is already available for pre-order on the official WRLDS  website for the price of $39.99, but shipments will start in September.

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