Blog Review : GamersInfo / 2010 Toy Fair and Engage! Expo

Have a look at this article : GamersInfo

It is difficult to see the future, but it is not impossible to spot upcoming trends in toys. Three experts in the field sat down with moderator and author of “Out of the Toybox,” Richard Gottlieb, at the 2010 Engage Expo in New York to answer questions about the future of toys and the “transmedia” trend of merging physical toys or objects with online, video and robotic capabilities.

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Greg Davis, U.S. general manager of Total Immersion, commented on the importance of using published content and UGC together. He said consumers like to personalize everything and are attracted to sites that allow freedom of creativity.

“There may have been a novelty of purely amateur UGC,” Davis said. “But I think that was has taken shape as of late is consumers making published content their own and putting their own spin on it.”

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Total Immersion augmented reality technology is one of most talked-about trends and technologies to have influenced global marketing over the past 12 months

Total Immersion is part of Most Contagious 2009 report in Augmented Reality section. This report talks about all talked-about trends and technologies to have influenced global marketing over the past 12 months.

You can have a look to this report here.

At the other end of the fun spectrum is Topps’ 3D Live Baseball Cards via AR experts Total Immersion. When scanned via a webcam, these produce miniature animated players in the palm of your hand or on your desk, which can then be controlled to play a series of simple batting and pitching mini-games. (See Contagious 19).


Toy manufacturer Mattel also endowed its new range of Avatar action figures with AR i-Tags. These plastic cards, when held in front of a webcam, produce 3D-renderings of that very toy which then spring to life, stomping and leaping across the user’s desktop. See Contagious 21.

Los Angeles Times Looks at the Mattel iTag Line

“Mattel’s Jason Horowitz talks to the L.A. Times about how the Avatar AR-enabled line of iTag action figures weds augmented reality and the fantastic reality of James Cameron’s blockbuster.  In this interview, Horowitz discusses how augmented reality expands upon the remarkable experience of the film.” More

Trading Cards : Video Release of Emax/Calcio 3D Consumer Products Augmented Reality Experience

E-Max launched in Italy Calcio 3D, a brand new AR experience powered by Total Immersion for trading cards with innovative game plays including scoring systems.

Publishing : Edibas Ben10 Virtual Lamincards powered by Total Immersion

Italian Publishing Company launched Ben10 Virtual Lamincards with augmented reality technology powered by Total Immersion.

 

Toys : Video Release of First Mattel Augmented Reality Toys with Avatar Licence and i-Tag technology

The Mattel toy line, developed in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Fox Licensing) will feature heroes, creatures and vehicles straight from James Camerons much-anticipated film, which is set for release in December 2009.

The augmented reality technology used for the project was developped by AR world leader Total Immersion. Each action figure, vehicle and creature in the product line will come with a 3-D web tag, called an i-TAG, which consumers can scan using a home computers webcam.

Blog Review (Geek Gestalt) : Augmented reality augurs the future of toys

Please have a look at this article : Augmented reality augurs the future of toys

I have seen the future of toys, and it is augmented reality.

That was my conclusion Monday after seeing Mattel’s i-Tags, new technology that will be included with action figures the company will make for “Titanic” director James Cameron’s new film, “Avatar.”

For those not familiar with augmented reality, it’s an overlay of digital information or imagery on top of real-world objects. AR, as it’s known, “is a field of computer research that deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time,” according to Wikipedia.

Or, as Sean McGowan, a toy industry analyst with Needham & Company in New York called it, AR is “jet fuel for the imagination.”

In the case of the “Avatar” action figures, AR is being implemented in the form of small plastic cards–the i-Tags–that kids can hold up in front of any Webcam. When they do, a fully 3D digital image is superimposed over the card on the screen. This can be anything from a simple set of information about a character from the film to a full-on, five-on-five shooting battle involving large military helicopters and flying dinosaur-like creatures called Leonopteryx.

The i-Tags, along with the “Avatar” action figures they’re based on, will be released in October in advance of the December 18 release of Cameron’s film.

There are five levels of i-TAGs, each of which corresponds to a specific level of interactivity with the AR. At level one–which will cost $8.95 per toy–kids who hold the card up to their Webcam will see some information on their computer screen about the character. At higher levels, though, they’ll be able to “push” buttons on the card, allowing them to manipulate the digital character or vehicle that pops up (see video below).

While AR is beginning to show up in many arenas, from video games to movie advertising to baseball cards to exploratory toys, Mattel said that the i-Tag is the first-ever retail toy implementation of the technology. more

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