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: yeah build those child skills
1/12/2012 12:58:01 PM
I can only hope that in the previous post, the person meant ADHD rather than autism...
Adults live in a digital world, yes, but children need to be able to be children without the interference of gadgets and technology. I make my living by creating technology, so I understand the importance. But gadgets are not replacements for the real and tangible elements of the world. Too often we as a society are seduced by the merits of technology and how it can "improve" our children. But that is a false notion. Our children do not need improving by means of technology, they need nurturing by parents and educators. As a child grows and matures, then they are more capable to distinguish between technology as a tool, versus technology as a caretaker.
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