whistleBox has developed a new browser-based augmented reality (AR) experience geared directly at children by integrating it with the one thing every kid loves: cartoons. The project, dubbed Do Crew, is a series of animated stories for kids that include interactive AR games and challenges that the kids can play with using a webcam attached to a desktop or laptop computer.New York-based online video management company
In examples shown in videos on the Do Crew site, kids can control cartoon vehicles by jumping or leaning side-to-side, and can play other games by waving their hands in front of the camera. Think Project Natal but in a web browser, and integrated within kids' cartoons. This is an excellent use of augmented reality technology because it is a practical application with genuine value, an attribute we discussed last week as being the strongest way AR can break into the mainstream.
Best of all, with games like these, kids will no longer be passively glued to their sofas as this new AR project encourages the kids of stand and use their body and arms to control the games. The Do Crew developers state that their mission with the game is help combat the growing epidemic of child obesity.
"Children will not stop watching television, and parents will not stop feeling guilt about that fact. So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with a rare opportunity to acknowledge this epidemic and treat it at the most basic level," the site says. "The Do Crew team is dedicated to making all passive media active, and we believe that with a little technology and imagination we can reimage the personal computer or console video game system as effective electronic exercise equipment."
top tech trends to watch in 2010, and by engaging children, AR may be able to make significant strides towards mass public adoption and acception.Going after the children's entertainment market could also be a boon for the augmented reality industry which has yet to find the public spotlight. Time Magazine named AR as one of the
Actually, AR experiences aimed at kids are not a new concept; a LEGO Store installation that helped kids see 3D reprensentations of model kits right on their boxes, and a web-based Topps baseball card experience that made the players on the cards come alive in 3D are two of the most well known AR roll-outs to date. New projects like Do Crew are not only great for kids, but also for AR as a whole as it strives to gain credibility and traction with as wide an audience as possible.