Augmented Reality Toys

This post kind of follows the last few and looks at why TOYS will create digital-emigrants from 2D learning, before you can say podcast. The trends in creating online virtual worlds around product and game is stepping up, and will see kids stepping out of using laptops and desktops …

The traveling STAR WARS exhibition had an interactive table, where with a few crude black and white shaped cards, you could build a moisture farm using augmented reality.

These are toys you will be buying. Free software online and a web-cam. Given that all consoles can deal with this and so can most laptops – even phones – you will be using this technology sooner than later.

This short demo from James Cameron’s movie Avatar – shows this at a new level. Although the movie is going to be just that – a passive movie, it is interesting to see how toys and peripheral materials are increasingly focused on mashing physical objects with virtual ones. There are a number of examples of people messing with cameras and applications (check this Transformers home made one) or an academic project to see what people are doing. but this is the first one I’ve seen which has obviously been developed around what will be a big-commercial-movie. This interaction, blending real with virtual is already happening with things like PS2 Eye-Toy. But objects are now beginning to appear in the middle. Not just camera sees person and visa versa, but camera recognises object and persons interaction with it. – That makes it an assessment tool as well as a learning tool.

With digital camera’s already fitted with projectors — 3M mini-projectors on Amazon — and POV cameras — it’s significant that a major movie/game enterprise starts to fund the mashing of these together in commercial ways. Think it’s hard teaching with an iPod – imagine what the science lab will look like in a decades time – when this kind of thing is old-hat and been in the lounge room since they were pre-schoolers.

The point is that much of the driving forces that power the web itself are more interested in escaping the small screen. While we live in a time where hyper-connected-social-twittering is the new cheese … it is likely that the generation now playing GT5 on PS3 will see much of Web2.0 as ‘historical’ much like dial-up.

While adults might discuss the decline of traditional media trending down and to the right – it is facile to think that one is simply replacing the other. Statistically, youth-online is not flocking to 2D spaces – and FB has discovered games are it’s killer app, not comment walls.

Yet, virtual worlds and games – are still regarded as less important than the new-standards – and god knows, they are hard enough to access in public schools.

If you have 10 minutes – watch this amazing video story  ‘world builder‘. Especially if you are not yet seeing what ‘virtual worlds are for’.