With the introduction and growing popularity of Apple’s ARKit and other augmented reality platforms, some very interesting products and apps are starting to hit store shelves. We have seen everything from interesting Sudoku overlays, to powerful measurement software and even Ikea’s new home design app is now in the App Store. But we are also starting to see some interesting products for kids that make use of the reality bending tech.
Parker is an adorable stuffed animal just like those we all know and love, but with some very special tech packed in using Apple’s ARKit platform. Now available in the Apple Store, Parker brings some amazing connected technology alongside powerful augmented reality games and STEM-based activities for children.
Seedling has designed Parker to be as much like a typical plushy toy as possible with no batteries, Wi-Fi or a camera. In fact, the entire system uses ARKit and augmented reality to transform the world around your kids. On that note, it appears Parker is only available to those with iOS devices right now and there does not appear to be any Android support scheduled down the line.
The experience is essentially centered around teaching children to take care of Parker. You have to cure his upset tummy, tame his fever and even take his temperature. The augmented reality experience allows kids to examine Parker’s bones, throat and more using an iPad or iPhone. In the box, Parker comes with several interactive toys including a thermometer, stethoscope, medicine bottle, wooden spoon and a pair of felt X-ray bibs.
The more Parker is taken care of he will offer up new experiences, slowly transforming the world around him into a much more delightful place. You can also expect to find some basic games and more that will help keep Parker happy and motivated.
Seedling is pretty adamant about infusing some educational elements into the experience and considers Parker to be as much a STEM toy as any:
- Science: Teaches basic biology through in-app doctor play.
- Technology: Develops Digital Literacy and explores the magic of Augmented Reality
- Engineering: Promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Encourages empathy
- Arts: Create drawings, connect the dots and even design your own bandage
- Math: Solve puzzles, play games.
Parker is available now for $59.99 direct from Seedling or on the Apple Store. Just remember you’ll need an iOS device to enjoy the experience to its fullest.
Seedling’s Parker the Bear is a classic teddy who works with an app on your iPad or iPhone to unlock a whole new way to play. He activates augmented reality effects on your iOS device to create an interactive world of doctor play. Parker is all soft and plush—no batteries, no Wi-Fi, no cameras. Simply download the free Parker app and start reimagining the world around you.
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