CES 2012: Sesame Street Hints AR Tablet Toys Will Be the Tickle-Me Elmo of 2012
January 11, 2012 12:00 PM
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Be warned your child may be screaming for a tablet soon
As if "Tickle-me Elmo" wasn't bad enough, now the Sesame Workshop --
makers of Sesame Street
-- have to come along and whip children into a frenzy over smartphones and tablets.
At a humorous section in Qualcomm Inc.'s (
) Tuesday morning presser, Sesame Workshop director and chief operating officer H. Melvin Ming talked about how he never knew what he was going to face for the day -- adults or screaming kids. He quipped, "I'm relieved to be in a room today with tech-savvy adults."
Soon Grover took to the stage for a jaw-dropping (for Grover at least) demo of a hot new high tech toy from Sesame Workshop. The Sesame Street Playset is a series of nondescript blocks, but it uses Qualcomm's Vuforia --
an augmented reality (AR)
and 3D modelling suite -- to bring the objects to life.
By taking pictures of the 3D characters (think little Sesame Street action figures), Bert and Ernie sprung to life on the smartphone/tablet, talking to the observer. You could take more pictures of objects to add more vibrant objects to the room -- such as a TV that insulted Grover's waiting skills and a jukebox.
Of course the thing is a great deal for both Sesame Workshop, Qualcomm, and smartphone/tablet-makers everywhere because in order to get this hot new toy you have to both buy the playset and a compatible Qualcomm-equipped smartphone or tablet.
But ponying up the likely $300+ USD cost of the system is for a good cause, they insist as the playset reportedly helps children build:
Grover drew slightly less enthusiasm from the audience for his promised upcoming electronic eggbeater. But can you blame him for trying?
All images © of Jason Mick and DailyTech LLC.
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You don't take a picture... its a live video feed
1/11/2012 2:42:43 PM
The AR works on top of a live video feed. You don't take snapshots. You just point the camera at the toy and the wooden blocks are replaced with 3D characters on the fly!
They had it on display at the Qualcomm booth as well.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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