HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

Apptivity

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Apptivity 3Mattel’s Apptivity toy line enhances popular smart phone games with physical figurines. Apptivity toy characters can be used to control existing games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja through capacitive plastic pads placed at the bottom of the figurines.

Mattel’s Apptivity toys are an example of the larger trend of “appcessories”, various physical accessories designed to enhance and complement related smartphone applications. Touch-sensitive contacts on the bottom of Apptivity toys allow players to use the toy characters for controlling related iPad games, normally controlled with finger.

There are other bonuses as well. In Fruit Ninja using the Apptivity toy with an updated version of the existing app unlocks an exclusive multiplayer mode. In it, the Sensei toy can be used to push fruits and bombs off a conveyor belt and into the competitor’s area, catching them up and making them fail.

Along with Fruit Ninja, toys for Cut the Rope and Angry Birds activate special game modes (the latter will even let you play as the pigs!). Additionally, Apptivity toys are available at least for Hot Wheels, The Dark Knight Rises, Barbie, WWE, and Monster High brands.

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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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