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Augmented reality is here to stay, and it will likely change both our private and business lives more than any other technological innovation in recent history. If the idea of having a virtual boss or an AI friend still shocks you, it would be advisable to get used to it rather quickly.
A good place to start is with your kids’ toys. After all, it is children who spend most of their time inhabiting other worlds!
The latest news on this front comes from a company called Seedling, which yesterday released a product called Parker — the first augmented reality teddy bear in history. And for Apple fans, the good news is that Parker is currently on sale exclusively at Apple’s retail outlets.
Designed for kids aged three and up, Parker at first glance appears to be just another traditional cuddly toy, with no batteries or electronics in sight. But with the augmented reality companion app, the bear comes to life.
The app is available for both the iPad and iPhone. It utilises Apple’s ARKit to enable kids to interact with Parker in ways previously thought unimaginable. They can, for example, become his doctor, studying his bones and taking care of (imaginary) ailments with companion accessories such as a toy stethoscope, thermometer, medicine, and x-ray bibs, with the app revealing Parker’s internal organs in cartoonish detail.
Parker comes bundled with mini-games, such as one focusing on helping him to get rid of a stomach bug and an augmented reality camera that allows kids to watch his happiness level increase. They can also transform their environment with exciting augmented reality effects, including building a magical mushroom forest or building a garden under the ocean.
The package includes Parker the bear, toy thermometer, backpack, wooden spoon, toy stethoscope, felt x-ray bibs, wooden medicine and a letter supposedly written by Parker.