China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: It’s All About the Robots

Earlier this week, Senior Editor Marissa DiBartolo wrote about how the floor of the American International Toy Fair 2014 was lacking in the realm of appcessories, and that many companies were heading back to the classic play patterns, especially in the activities category. I also noticed an emerging trend that does not heavily rely on app technology, but does not veer from the idea of incorporating tech into playtime: robots.

As I walked the floor, I saw a bunch of different robotic products that really displayed where the category is heading—and a lot of that was not app-reliant. Of course, most of these robots can be controlled with or used with smart devices, but gone are the days where “and it has an app!” was a suitable enough novelty to convince consumers to purchase the toy.

Ali.Feb27First, let me introduce you to MiP. MiP, which is short for Mobile Inverted Pendulum, is WowWee’s latest innovation in association with the University of California at San Diego’s Coordinated Robots Lab. MiP has unique dual wheel balancing (thanks to that inverted pendulum science!) and is a fully interactive robot. MiP is able to navigate his surroundings while being controlled by hand gestures or through a Bluetooth link to a smart device. MiP also has a personality that is communicated through motion, sounds, and his LED eyes. [Read more...]

Qualcomm, Sesame Workshop Collaboration Uses Cutting-Edge Mobile Technology

Qualcomm and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, are collaborating on innovative mobile learning applications to revolutionize early childhood education. As part of the agreement, Qualcomm will perform research and development activities with Sesame Workshop to create and deliver new innovations in mobile educational content.

The collaboration between two global pioneers brings together Qualcomm’s cutting-edge mobile technologies, Sesame Workshop’s expertise in early childhood education, and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to create engaging and inspiring learning experiences that will prepare young children for school.

The first applications planned through this collaboration are being demonstrated in the Qualcomm booth as part of the 2013 Consumer Electronics ShowAbby’s Fairy Rock and Big Bird’s Words will include the very earliest examples of never-before-imagined content and hints at the possibilities to come. [Read more...]

Sesame Workshop Partners with Qualcomm for Augmented Reality Prototype

Qualcomm Incorporated and Sesame Workshop have joined forces to explore augmented reality experiences for children by creating a prototype play set that brings physical toys to life. An application is being demonstrated at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), running January 10-13.

The collaborative project explores the use of a tablet with a traditional play set, aiming to make children’s’ playtime more fun and educational. The prototype play set includes traditional elements such as common household objects and figurines of classic Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster, Bert, and Ernie. Additionally, the demo includes a tablet and an application that uses Qualcomm’s newly branded Vuforia augmented reality platform. When the tablet is pointed at the play set, the pieces and the play environment come alive through the tablet’s camera, transforming the play set into an interactive experience.

Qualcomm is exhibiting at Booth No. 30313 in South Hall 3 at CES.

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Winners Announced for the First Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Awards

kapi_award

The winners for the Kids at Play Interactive (KAPi) Awards were announced during the Kids@Play Summit, a part of the 2010 International CES. The first-ever awards show highlighted products, such as applications, video games, CD-ROMs, internet websites, and eBooks, that raised the bar for innovation and excellence.

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