A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

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Gigo Future Car

Gigo Future Car 1Gigo Future Car is a remote controlled, constructible toy car that utilizes AR technology to create a virtual city for the car to navigate in. The user builds the car from LEGO-like building blocks and uses a smart device to control its movements and set-up AR routes.

Gigo Future Car by Future Toy Taiwan is a combination of forward thinking toy templates. First, the car comes unassembled and is built from LEGO-like building blocks, actually giving the user eight different construction possibilities. Besides a car, the blocks can be used to build motor bikes, planes, hovercrafts and helicopters (though none of the latter are actually able to fly). The vehicles are powered by a small motor and sensors that detect remote control commands.

Second, users are able to download a free app to control the car, while the tablet can be used as AR lens in conjunction with the toy. The car comes with AR markers that can be used to mark generic buildings and famous landmarks such as Eiffel tower. Cards laying on the ground create a virtual AR city that can be then navigated. The car can be programmed to follow various behaviors and can even navigate the AR city by itself.  

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LEGO Life of George

Life Of George 2Life of George is an “app toy” Lego game. Players purchase a set of Life of George Legos and download a free smart phone app in order to build displayed Lego models. These are then “verified” to be properly assembled by using the smart phone camera. 

Life of George combines real Lego bricks with a smart phone app. Players first purchase the Life of George Lego set which includes an array of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 long Lego bricks and a special “green screen” play mat. Available free for iOS and Android, the Life of George app provides the associated assembling game and the capturing software. Play consists of players trying to build displayed models, one at a time, as fast as possible. In the 2 player mode a friend can be challenged and competed against on 5 different models to see who builds the fastest. After finishing a model, the smart phone camera is used to capture the model to “verify” it. A score is then awarded for time, accuracy, etc.

The app includes also a creation mode where you design and capture your own models and use them to challenge your friends. There are various difficulty levels determined by the models and the time setting you choose (easy or hard). An internet connection is not required to use the app.

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Laser Pegs construction set

20130313-133506.jpgLaser Pegs are a construction set featuring lights in the pieces. When connected to a power source, power travels through the creations from brick to brick, lighting the whole construction. An iPad app lets users to remote control lights and design unique models.

Laser Pegs is a LED lighted construction set for children. Laser Pegs light up by using long-lasting LED lights inside the building blocks. A science toy in disguise, it enables children to create limitless designs or just have fun piecing light together while at the same time teaching them how light travels. Laser Pegs pieces are also compatible with other major building block sets such as Lego.

The next generation of Laser Pegs toys will allow users to control the lights on their creations using an The iPad app also features a 3D construction kit. Using the drag-and-drop interface, users are able to build without limitation, and then order their design to receive it in the mail. “You can design whatever you want to design – any shape, any size”, Jon Capriola, CEO at Laser Pegs promises. Users will be able to share their creations via Facebook and Twitter. Construction manuals can also be compiled and shared. Capriola also said that Laser Pegs is considering holding design contests for kids. “We’re trying to make a community.”