A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

App toys

Leave a comment

ImageThe term ’app toys’ can be seen as a general category for toys that – in one way or another – incorporate a smart device application into a play experience with a toy. Examples range from squeaking smart phones inside plush toys to apps facilitating and controlling play.  

The last few years have seen the introduction of a new type of electronic toy. As various smart devices incorporating touchscreens, motion sensors and gyro motors have become commonplace household items, and as adults have let their toddlers dabble around with these devices, a sizeable economy of toy applications for younger children have emerged. The term ’app toys’ has become general jargon for toys that incorporate a smart device application into the play experience of a toy, in one way or another. Examples include app pets (Tamagotchi-like toys that come alive via the smart device and are subsequently taken care of by the user), slip-ins (smart devices placed inside a plush toys in order to give the toy interactivity), and toys like Lego’s Life of George (where the player uses Lego bricks to build an object displayed on the screen and then verifies the end result with the smart phone camera).


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s