As technology advances, many toy companies are finding ways to immerse kids in unforgettable, interactive experiences that combine imagination with augmented reality.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the five best AR toys for kids, all of which are sure to take playtime to the next level.
SwapBots are gaining popularity fast – and it’s easy to see why. These customisable toys have that collectable appeal that’s always a hit with kids. Different versions of bots are available, letting kids pull them apart and slot them together to make hundreds of different combinations, which come to life through augmented reality.
Using the SwapBot app, users can scan the bots, which creates an animated overlay that brings the toy to life. Each separate part of the bot correlates with a specific animation overlay, which makes the customisation and swapping of their parts even more fascinating, letting kids create a whole new character with each play.
The app of course has loads of different games and functions that interact with the real world, some of which are only unlocked by certain bot parts or combinations. This means there’s hours of fun to be had, inspired by the creativity of the user.
LEGO Hidden Side
LEGO has announced its new series of eight Hidden Side building sets. The sets present haunted towns with pieces that can be turned to either a normal side or a haunted side. While kids have loved building LEGO sets for years, these spooky toys have a technological twist.
The Hidden Side sets arrive with an AR app which creates spooky overlays. The overlays will be fully interactive with the real world, but kids will have to complete tasks both physically and in-app, with the goal of finding and capturing the ghosts. In total, there’s 100 ghosts to capture across all eight sets, so these toys have a collectable element.
Iron Man AR Mask
One for the Marvel fans, this AR mask provides an augmented hero experience. The device you’re using will slot directly into the mask, so wearers will see reality through the Hero Vision AR app.
The toy includes some markers that you’ll set up around the space the wearer is playing in, so you’ll be in control of where the overlays will generate and what physicalities in the setting will become interactive.
When everything is all set up and the player is wearing their mask, they’ll be immersed with battling enemies over ten levels. You can even customise the same levels by setting up your markers differently, giving the player a whole new experience. While this is definitely a fun one for the kids, we can see the Iron Man AR mask appealing to Marvel fans of all ages.
While AR can just be a great time for kids, it can also be really educational. PaiBotz are new toys that combine creativity, construction and even coding. PaiBotz provide players with parts that they can use to build their own robots – either following an existing design or creating their own from scratch. They’ll then use physical blocks that interact with the AR app to represent elements in coding puzzles.
Ultimately, they’ll learn through physically building their botz and blocks about construction, whilst simultaneously learning to code through the AR app. The puzzles will help players teach the robots how to move, drum, dance, make sounds and light up, all through the coding tasks on the app.
Plugo is another AR toy that’s based around education, offering development on a range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) skills.
It’s a game station that is used with a tablet, to create AR games that interact with physical toys, creating puzzles and quests which involve subjects such as counting, navigation and construction.
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