Monday, September 28, 2015

Skylanders, Sphero BB-8 and Co .: technology change in the playroom –

The Skylanders in 2011 impressively demonstrated how to successfully coupled a mix of physical toys and digital game content and thus not only excited children. Since then a lot has changed, Nintendo and Disney moved to the same segment, but the “Toys-to-life” -Sparte are now more ago than fixed Sammelfiguren that communicate with a console. We provide an overview of new technologies in the playroom.

Built-up robotics technology, App Support and Artificial Intelligence are just three key concepts that integrate producers increasingly common in new toys. With Spheros BB-8, Anki Overdrive or the robotic dinosaur Miposaur there already this year some promising toys that can not only score points by far the young target audience.

Earlier this year reported Activision three billion US dollar sales with the multiplatform game Skylanders. As a hybrid of video game and physical Sammelfiguren thus already walked 2011 concept that a manual to print money equaled. Lured with starter packets, it is primarily the additional packages that enable long time repeatedly buyer. With the amiibos managed Nintendo – as always a couple of years too late – a similar coup. Disney moved previously by having Disney Infinity. The concept of all these collectible figurines is quite simple, the actual benefit quite clear. Especially when it comes Nintendo seem especially likely to include the aspect of collecting as a truly meaningful, playful integration. In Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the pawns are placed on a sort of portal and wake up in the game to life. The Nintendo amiibos other hand, can be activated via a button on the WiiU controller or the Nintendo 3DS. Unlike the characters of Disney and Activision there for amiibos but no fixed video games – they are much more integrated into many Nintendo titles. If, for example in Yoshi’s Woolly World a amiibo of Mario on the button looks the otherwise green dinosaur like the famous plumber from Nintendo.

droids and robotics racecars

more demanding in a direction to go now other manufacturers, use the actual robotics technology and artificial intelligence, and have further developed compared to very early products such as the robotic dog AIBO by Sony, strong. This was introduced in 1999 and at that time cost a small fortune. Am currently best known is certainly the BB-8, which in the context of the launch of Star Wars: Episode VII – The awakening of the power is to be sold. Manufacturer Sphero developed the little robot, which is controlled by users with a matching smartphone app. Since the beginning of September to buy, has the small ball-droid on three key modes: Patrol mode he explored on your own its surroundings, bangs against furniture and walls, but can use the corresponding app create a map of the area and this in future exploring Refetch. So it goes at least the obstacles out of the way, with whom he still collided at the first time. In Drive mode, you take on itself the control of BB-8 and tried to work to maneuver the robot through the hazard-free apartment. The whole thing works here even with voice control. In the spirit of the films, you can record hologram messages in a third mode and let these (so far only on the app) to play.

Similar to BB-8 also operate the racing cars from Anki. The vehicles in Anki Overdrive can be controlled by the player, but can also go independently and provide, depending on the difficulty, challenging opponents are. Using individual track parts can be built complex, individual routes. The so-called supercars go completely autonomously each route at least one lap down – on your smartphone, you can follow the progress of this scanning process in real time. But as with BB-8 itself no sensors are installed in the car that build the track and “Remember”, but the corresponding app that constantly communicates either via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi with the cars. The vehicles are equipped with a floor-mounted camera that scan 500 times the distance per second and are thus informed at all times about their current position. There is code that is read by the cars on each branch. Using artificial intelligence make the vehicles within seconds decisions, attack their competition or behave defensively. Anki has thereby a stronger focus on video game elements and showered after each race experience points, rewards and digital upgrades for the players.

Smartphone as a central control and operating unit


In all featured toys, act the use of robotics and artificial intelligence, the smart phone is an integral part of the use. Although there are toys that can also be controlled via hand movements or external add-on products (such as the Miposaur from WowWee) – the smartphone as a central control and communication element nevertheless always present and often clearer than gestures. In addition, it is of course also has practical reasons for using a smartphone so – Toy manufacturers can outsource many complex calculations on an app for the smartphone and have to ensure that product and app easily communicate with each other. The communication between devices is not new. “Internet of Things” as a generic term for the vision of continuously interconnected and communicating devices, for several years describes a major innovation in the way in which you can network products from all areas together

Conclusion:. Conquered Robotics the kids – and also the hobby room

still a few years ago unthinkable, but by the rapid technological progress, the toys of the future celebrating gradually their debut in children’s and living rooms. However, it raises the question of how sustainable the now featured physical toys really are. Skylanders and Co. so much that they offer as a video game potentially hours of entertainment – the collection figures themselves, however, are fairly rigid. Both Anki overdrive and BB-8 are more versatile by the associated app. The different game modes offer more than half an hour of fun. The Miposaur ensures at least by different control options (gestures, trackball and app) for different playing styles. The featured toys in this case represent only the status quo of current technical feasibility. It is assumed that new ambitious projects are tackled each year, the advance also this segment ever and can be complex. That such a “toy” is not just something for children, but also for tech-savvy adult, goes without saying.

never miss? Then GIGA Android follow on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment