We are never too old to enjoy a great toy. This is even truer if the toy incorporates cool modern technologies. This year, a new kind of playthings made their way on the list of the most popular gift: augmented reality toys.
How Do Augmented Reality Toys Work?
This type of toy is a physical item which incorporates an AR marker or is paired with an AR mobile app. To enjoy all the features, you use the toy together with a mobile phone or tablet. Thus, the toy becomes more interactive and offers players a more exciting experience.
AR toys are not a passing trend. They are here to stay, because new technologies of yesterday become the accepted norm today. Augmented reality is not just exciting and interactive. It has a positive impact on education and on helping children develop their cognitive abilities. An augmented reality toy is, at the same time, a treasured plaything and a useful educational tool.
Now that you know how AR toys work, let’s explore some of the most popular ones, both for children and adults:
Parker is more than a fluffy and friendly teddy bear. It is one of the most helpful augmented reality toys for children who are interested in various branches of science. The toy is accompanied by a mobile app for Android, iOS and Kindle Fire.
Launching the app allows children to look after Parker, treat it when it is sick and monitor its Happiness Factor. The app also contains various puzzles and problems from various fields of science, from math to arts.
Here is a video of Parker the Bear in action:
Some augmented reality toys are complex enough to be very appealing for adults. The Iron Man AR Mask developed under Marvel license is one of them. The mask is designed to fit a smartphone inside it. The package includes 3 AR markers, the gauntlet and the Infinity Stone.
The interactive game play comes from the Hero Vision app. The game has 10 levels and allows players to feel like Iron Man and save the planet from the nefarious Thanos. Both Apple iPhone and Android phone owners can use the app.
This is one of the augmented reality toys that encourage children to be curious, use their imagination and solve various puzzles. The Cube-Tastic AR toy has rounded edges, contains no toxic materials and is also water resistant. These characteristics make it an ideal toy even for smaller children.
The accompanying free app includes a tutorial which helps players learn how to get the most out of Cube-Tastic. According to package information, the AR toy helps children develop problem solving skills and improve their hand-eye coordination.
This is one of the augmented reality toys developed for famous movie franchises. The growing trend is to turn popular superheroes and movie characters into interactive toys for fans. The First Order Stormtrooper robot developed by UBTECH allows players to defend their own galaxy via voice commands or through a dedicated app.
You can program the AR Stormtrooper robot to recognize up to three faces and to patrol designated areas in the house. The toy operates via secure WiFi connection and is compatible both with Android phones and Apple iPhones.
We end our list of recommendations of augmented reality games with a game for younger children. Shifu Safari consists of a series of flash cards and accompanying app. It helps children recognize various animals and learn useful facts about them, such as: where they live, what they eat, what sounds they make, etc.
This educational AR game was developed in collaboration with early childhood experts and parents. The free app, named Play Shifu, is available both for iOS and Android.