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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RE: Electronics are not for children
1/12/2012 12:44:14 PM
Yes I have kids, three kids in fact. Two whom had regular tv and media exposure, and our youngest without regular or frequent tv and media exposure. Our youngest is much more patient, inquisitive, self-entertaining and balanced than the older kids at the same age.
Additionally, if you were familiar with the report from the Journal of Pediatrics, you would know that young children should have very limited "screen time". Screen time is any exposure to a tv, computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.
While you are not always able to drop everything to interact with a child, they should be able to engage themselves with other things such as puzzles, looking at books, drawing, banging on things, etc.
A screen is not an educator, a friend, or a babysitter.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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