With changing times, toys have also changed. Toys are no more just toys, they are now ‘smart toys’. Wow! But what are they? Simply put, they are toys that talk, sense your moves, play with you and become your mentor — toys with their own built-in ‘intelligence’!
Although children have been playing on their parents’ tablets and smartphones, they now have their very own tablets and robot transformers, inspired by the famous cartoon series Transformers, that can now be controlled through mobile devices!
So from simple friction cars to drones, smart toys are quite mind-boggling. Let’s see what technology is offering these days while so much is being planned for the future.
Various companies have come up with various smart toys. One of which is from Fisher-Price, it is an interactive learning stuff toy which responds and remembers things its users do. It takes cues from the user, then invites play, talk, movement, imagination and learning.
Smarty is more like a personal assistant, slated to be launched later this year. Designed for kids aged five to 12, the blue, plastic Smarty will answer questions, reminds kids about the homework, wake them in the morning, control bedroom lights, and stream music and audio books.
Another robot toy Leka, was introduced this year. But this toy has quite a great purpose: it is designed to help children with autism and other developmental disabilities to learn and communicate better with others.
Leka is not just for kids, adults with more severe disabilities can also use it for overcoming social barriers to learn and progress at their own pace. The main functions include: lighting up with colourful LEDs, playing music and chirpings in anthropomorphic fashion and emitting subtle vibrations. It contains a screen as well, which shows various facial expressions and can also be used to display photos and videos.
The robot is remote controlled with an Android or iOS device. This robot rolls around in any direction, with his head floating magnetically on top. The companion app is packed with official Star Wars sound effects and a few different activities, such as the ability to record holographic messages.
Playing with Play-Doh has always been such a sweet activity that kids just love getting messy with. But technology has made it digital!
A Play-Doh kit allows kids to scan their physical creations into the digital world on an iPad or another iOS device. The kit includes a familiar array of Play-Doh cans, tools, cutters, and stampers, along with a special plastic tray. So when users place their creations on the tray and scan it with an iPad, they come to life as characters or objects in a colourful, side-scrolling world.
Somewhat like the computer game Pac-man, Ozobot is a robotic game piece that glides across a physical surface, such as a game board or an iPad-style tablet. It teaches coding and robotics; kids can programme Ozobot to navigate mazes, slide across racetracks, perform dance routines and more. — F.H.
Published in Dawn, Young World, February 11th, 2017