Augmented Reality Thundercats? Yes please, Aurasma!

Augmented reality, Tech Digest news, Toys

My Mum always used to argue that I played with the packaging to my toys more than I did the action figures themselves. Well, had I been born 20 years later I think my Mum would have been right; these new augmented reality toy packagings from Bandai look absolutely awesome.

Appearing on the packaging of new Thundercats, Ben 10 and Power Rangers toys, an AR trigger on the boxes to each toy can be set off using the Aurasma image recognition app.

Kids are then presented with a to-scale 3D animated model of the toy they’re looking to purchase, letting them see it from all sides and angles without having to open the box before purchasing.

It’s not just fun for kids, but useful for parents too; while Bandai and Aurasma haven’t yet made mention of the AR triggers hitting their websites, it makes perfect sense as a tool for kids and parents alike to preview their purchases online before handing over their cash. It’ll also allow potential buyers to check the commercial for each toy line too, which could help an out-of-the-loop adult in recognising a much-sought-after toy.

“The toy industry is always looking for new ways to excite customers so we are thrilled to be the first partner of this pioneering 3D technology creating 21st century window shopping,” said Darrell Jones, Marketing Director at Bandai.

“The fact that consumers can see their toys virtually and also watch them in action in the TV commercial anywhere in the world is a real first for the toy industry, and we look forward to extending the partnership across all our toys in 2012.”

Martina King, Managing Director of Aurasma, shared Jones’s enthusiasm:

“Parents will now have to remember not to throw away the packaging which, thanks to Aurasma, looks set to become an essential part of the toy’s experience and something kids keep returning to.

“Using new technology comes as second nature to kids today and whether using their parents’ or their own mobile phone, this imaginative partnership between Aurasma and Bandai will delight the whole family. And best of all, because Aurasma is free to download, it means that now pocket money can be stretched just that little bit further.”

It looks really great, like something out of Toy Story. Check the video above to see Thundercat’s Lion-O in action.

Gerald Lynch
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