Case Studies: AR Books, AR Toys and Roblox
It all started with Harry Potter. Is Augmented Reality is what can actually make your kid interested in reading? Who can resist the book that brings to life unicorns and hippogryphs? And I am speaking about the book called Wonderbook «Book of Spells» for PlayStation 3. Kids who start reading it become wizards from School of Hogwarts for several hours. Similar examples are appearing more and more often in the apps stores: have you ever seen a dragon coming to life out of a real book? Today, kids are actively demanding for more intelligent toys and deeper content. Digital and physical are not such a big differentiator for curious kids. In this space, Roblox has grown its presence, by giving a place for kids where “to grow their imagination”. In a very short time, Roblox has engaged the majority of all 9-to-12-year-old children in the United States only, reaching, if not topping, Steam’s active accounts.
The AR Toys panorama is also becoming more populated: starting with ‘Mario Kart Live’ that tops ‘Pokémon Go’ for AR experiences and makes your home a totally dizzling playground. But what are the next gen trends on toys matter? And how do they impact the production of AR enhanced toys and apps? Is it only about fancy features or there is more behind AR? Looking at toys trends in 2020, we can clearly understand that kids are much more aware than we generally think, and not only thanks to young celebrities like Greta Thunberg, but because they have developed a different perception of global issues through social media and daily news. The Spelwarenmesse 2020 showcased a very interesting selection of toys that convey environmental awareness in a playful and child-appropriate manner or are made from environmentally friendly materials, including toys that support, encourage and assist people in particular life situations: more and more toys will be expected to include AR/MR features that help to develop specific skills.
One of the big unmet needs we solve is to give kids a place to have imagination.
Craig Donato, Roblox’s chief business officer. (TechCrunch, 2019)
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