HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

App toys

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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).

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Author: teehex

Heikki Tyni is a researcher for the Hybridex project at University of Tampere Gamelab. Into comics and old movies.

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