Recently, there has been a number of products from existing companies that have tried to extend the iPad experience beyond the screen. I believe, these types of products creates a whole new way of interacting with the virtual world created via iPad. It even has the potential of creating a whole new way of playing with the iPad.
The first product that is generating a lot of excitement is Disney’s AppMate. Here is a Youtube video on it:
According to the Techcrunch article,
Featuring the likenesses of characters from Cars 2, the Appmates are miniature figures with special sensors mounted on the bottom. Those sensors (patent pending, naturally) identify each particular figure to the iPad, so it will know the difference between Tow Mater and and Lightning McQueen even if you don’t.
For Disney, this is a terrific way to extend the Cars brand experience from the movie into an alternate play experience. What’s cool is that these car Appmates can theoretically be played both on the iPad and away from it, allowing the kid to really be immersed in the world of Cars. What is not clear, is if the revenue from the appMates is going to be the primary revenue stream, or if there is something else.
Another interesting product is the collaboration between Crayola and Griffin Technology that created the Crayola Color Studio + iMarker. While many customers have complained about the difficulty of using the iMarker, and some would argue why would a kid want to draw with a pen rather than his/her fingure. My gut is that, especially for young children, the tactile feedback of drawing with a physical object can be just as satisfying as the act of drawing itself. And that in itself, creates a new type of experience with the iPad.
What do you think? Do you think these products point the way to a new category of products for kids?
What if the next iteration of Puzzingo is done using physical puzzle pieces rather than virtual? Would that make the game more or less satisfying to play?