A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

Slip-ins and playful protection cases

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Slip-ins and playful protection cases 4

Many kinds of protective smart device covers double as children’s toys/designer toys. While some are mere decorative cases, some are accompanied with a dedicated app adding interactive character aspect to the product.  

Since the beginning of smart devices, users have tried to protect their phones and tablets from accidental falling and rough handling. This has led many manufacturers to design more and more attractive cases for different user segments. One such emerging category is the smart device cases doubling as toys and playful characters. Some of these “slip-ins” allow user to slide their device into a plush toy which then becomes a sound-and-interaction-enhanced smart toy. Some toys leave openings in the plushie, letting parts of the device screen remain App Toys 2visible for touch controls and visual input/output.

A typical slip-in, YetYet by Totoya Creatures, a cuddly yeti-like creature, lets children interact with it via touch openings. A less interactive (though perhaps more protective) case is the iGuy by Speck Products. iGuy is a durable foam case for iPad that doubles both as a stand and as a character that children can play with. Yanko Design’s iWhale depicts a whale. The “blowhole” doubles as a headphone jack, while the curled tail allows the whale to grip to a number of surfaces like handlebars or rear-view mirrors.


Author: Heikki Tyni

Heikki Tyni is a researcher at Tampere University Game Research Lab. His work concentrates on the game industry, and specifically on game production studies.

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