The Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) has been running for more than four decades, bringing in tech innovators from all over to promote growth in the consumer electronics industry. Included in CES 2013 presentations are the latest advancements in toys; from Fisher-Price to BeeWi (News - Alert), toymakers are just one of the developers showing off products this week.
A lot has changed since previous childhood days of the Etch A Sketch. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology are combining with smartphones and tablets to bring technology to toys. Developer BeeWi showcased toys at CES 2013 that rely on iOS and Android devices for control: the TankBee (on sale in June), a tank that shoots infrared bullets, the StingBee ($119.99), a helicopter with the same functions, the KickBee ($54.99), a little robot that can play kickball, and the Wi-Fi “Mars Rover” ScaraBee ($149.99), which includes a camera so you can see what the toy sees and drives for 15 minutes on a charge.
Image via Bloomberg
Also to come this year from BeeWi is a set of iOS and Android device controlled Mini Coopers and a Fiat 500 toy as well as Windows Phone 8 versions of the remote control apps.
Fisher-Price showcased its line of Apptivity products for kids, which includes the Little People Apptivity Barnyard ($40), the Imaginext Apptivity Fortress ($50) and Create & Learn Cases ($20). Using an iPad, the different products offer an interactive setting to tractor through a farm or battle enemies in a fortress. Other people can get involved in the scene by standing or sitting in front of the iPad’s back-facing camera. The Create & Learn Cases brings static products, such as alphabet cards, to life. For example, placing an “A is for Apple (News - Alert)” card under a case will be detected by the iPad and will cause the apple to come to life.
Image via ABC40
Fisher-Price also released six new interactive nursey rhyme apps that can be used in conjunction with the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Storybook Reader, a hard case that will turn the pages of the nrusey rhyme app when opened.
Also at CES 2013, Disney (News - Alert) demonstrated its first line-up of interactive, alternate reality children’s toys. It partnered with toy company JAKKS Pacific and NantWorks to create “DreamPlay,” an AR game that works via an apple downloaded to Apple and Android devices. DreamPlay, set to be available in October, works via the cloud and triggers Disney character animations based on real life objects. Users point the device camera at toys and one of thousands preset animations of characters will appear on the device.
Image via IB Times
"[DreamPlay] is a tremendous way to combine great technology and Disney's magical story-telling to extend the time a child can play with a toy," said Bob Chapek, president of Disney’s consumer products unit, in a statement. "Kids find out that playing with their toy doesn't end when they get it home."
Target stores and Toys R Us are among the U.S. retailers who will carry the DreamPlay line, according to Stephen Berman, JAKKS president and CEO. Top-Toy, the giant Nordic retailer, has also signed on, while Beijing Hualian Group, which operates supermarkets and department stores across China, is coming onboard as well.
"Kids don't own iPhones or iPads but they all know how to use them," said Berman in a statement. "Kids have so much more imagination than we do. Imagine recording a bunch of the videos and giving the kid an iPad to play with them on a trip to see the grandparents."
Technology advancements aren’t just impacting the way businesses work or adults communicate; they are impacting children’s lives, from education to play-time. CES 2013 is far from over, click here to stay tuned on the latest announcements at the show.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli