What’s soft, cuddly and AR-powered? Meet ‘Parker’: and old-timey, plush teddy bear with wooden doctor’s kit accessories and sans batteries, camera and Wi-Fi developed by Seedling, a start-up for children’s products. When an iOS device featuring the Seedling app is held over Parker, the augmented reality experience is brought to life.
The toy and AR app are designed to integrate to encourage STEM knowledge growth in children ages three and up. The mobile device allows children to examine Parker’s bones and organs in 3D. Each time an ailment is diagnosed and cured Parker’s happiness level rises and new ways to play are unlocked. In addition to teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Parker encourages arts and social skills like empathy.
This news of the integration of play, learning and augmented reality comes as Toys R Us makes headlines for debuting an AR app featuring in-store content, mini-games and play experiences amid filing for bankruptcy.