Apple retail stores now selling augmented reality teddy bear

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.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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