At BodiMojo, we’re firm believers that while technology can get a bad rap, it’s all about how you use it. Nowadays, people often lament that kids are constantly glued to screens–from video games to smartphones to tablets–and are missing out on real world play. And we agree. Kids need to take breaks from screens and allow their brains to restore and relax. But what if technology and physical play could be in harmony?
Enter Gazintu: Physical toys that control mobile games
Gazintu is Playrific‘s latest project which, according to their Indiegogo campaign, “[is] about playing with actual toys, the way kids have for thousands of years, bringing traditional play with toys into mobile gaming worlds.” The Gazintu device goes in to traditional toys and gives the toy “special powers using its owners gestures” which may be reflected on a screen in real time. Gazintu is not about remotely controlling toys, but providing kids with ways to engage with physical toys and expand their imaginations with the help of technology.
According to Beth Marcus, CEO & President of Playrific, “With Gazintu, the mobile screen doesn’t have to be the focus anymore. Gazintu re-centers game play on a toy, and puts the screen in a supporting role. Yes, the app can be immersive and fun… But, Gazintu can restore in-room, as opposed to on-screen, creativity and imagination.” Gazintu leverages the appeal of technical devices with the power of old-fashioned play and imagination. “The really cool part is the way that these activities do not have to involve staring at and repeatedly tapping a screen – we call that ‘getting rid of the screen zombies,'” says Gary Dietz, Director of Product Management at Playrific.
Gazintu has the potential to revolutionize the way kids play and learn
Gazintu utilizes an Integrated Reality approach, which, according to Dietz, “…is to integrate existing, common objects, and manipulate [them] using gestures and movements that these objects have always been manipulated with — even without technology. Then, the gestures and movements of these objects impact a virtual experience like a game (an audio game, a video game, a therapy session, etc.) One key difference is, that for the most part, in Integrated Reality, the inputs and “data flow” go from a “real object” into a virtual experience.
Playrific Gazintu needs your help!
Gazintu is still in the prototype stage and needs time and money to develop. To contribute to their efforts, consider supporting their Indiegogo campaign or ordering the Bedtime Story Edition, including an innovative combination of the Gazintu app and a chunk of playonium, a glowing substance that reacts as the story is read!
Help make this integrated reality a reality!
Image source: Playrific Facebook page.