Tag: augmented reality for kids

Augmented reality is blurring the line between mobile gaming and reading

AR technology is transforming children’s books and video games at the same time.

With the start of the augmented reality games in traditional books trend by Sony, with its Wonderbook for PlayStation 3, both of those forms of entertainment have been redefined and many other products are now being released to enhance the reading experience – particularly for children.

Among the most widely publicized successes of AR books for kids was iDinosaur.

However, it was truly the Wonderbook that sent augmented reality books into the mainstream almost two years ago. The idea behind this technology is that a physical book contains a number of different components that are not detectable to the human eye. The only way to be able to access and view them is to use a smartphone or a tablet and the right apps to bring them to life.

For instance, a child’s book could be read on its own, or include augmented reality components to allow for interaction.

When children’s books such as iDinosaur are viewed through the assistance of mobile devices and AR apps, the illustrations can appear to spring to the page and move about. Tyrannosaurus Rexes have since been leaping out of the pages to show their stuff – though in a much smaller and much more digital form, of course.

In 2014, the trend has continued through the French Connection. They have now released the first volume of a children’s story series, Jack Hunter, which will introduce their own interactive AR elements. This book will work as a standalone novel that can be enjoyed by itself, or it can be viewed with the assistance of mobile devices that help the reader to unlock a broader range of different interactive elements.

These include augmented reality images as well as additional interactive stories and games. Though this may seem quite complex to parents, the latest generation of youngsters is proving to be increasingly comfortable with touchscreens, apps, and the overall concept of smart devices. As many households now contain at least one of these mobile gadgets, it can make AR technology based books quite a comfortable fit into the overall reading experience.

Augmented reality for kids brings bedtime stories to life

This AR technology has been used by TexTales so that it can be woven right into the child’s bedding.

TexTales is a newly launched product out of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, which uses augmented reality for kids worked into sets of bed sheets for children, so that they can bring bedtime stories to life.

The images appear to come alive directly out of the printed patterns on their bedding.

When a tablet or a smartphone is directed at the bed sheets with this augmented reality for kids, the bedding displays three dimensional images of fairy tale characters. When the sheets are purchased, they come with a free accompanying app that gives parents the ability to either play pre-existing stories or to create their own special stories. These can then be played for their children during playtime or before bedtime.

The images that are created on the fabric are recognized by special software using augmented reality for kids.

Augmented Reality for Kids - Bedtime Story SheetsWhen the app is open and the device is aimed at the images on the sheets, the custom made software detects these specific images and activates various elements, allowing parents and children to be able to interact with those images, that appear to move around on the screen.

The TexTales app is compatible with devices based on Android 2.3 and higher, as well as those based on iOS 5 and higher. To work with the AR technology, they have to be equipped with a rear-facing camera. This product was developed based on another project that had been previously pursued by Kristi Kuusk. It is considered to be a collaborative venture among studio Toer, Unit040, Johan van den Acker Textielfabriek, and the Eindhoven University of Technology. It is also part of a greater project which is known as CRISP Smart Textile Services.

In order to be able to raise the funds to create the sheets with augmented reality for kids, and to be able to develop the project so that it would be possible to create more characters and stories, TexTales launched a Kickstarter campaign. This allowed them to custom create the software necessary for these added elements.