Bringing together the physical concept of real world toys and the fun of virtual mobile titles, ZowPow have created a new toy that lets kids interact with both.
Once upon a time, so many years ago, before our time was taken up by swiping fingers across glass screens and before ‘fun’ was categorised as button presses in mobile games, children used to enjoy real world toys. They had their Barbie dolls and Action Men and puzzles promised to parents as being able to ‘maximise their child’s IQ’ and as youngsters, children were content. But, as time, technology and the children of that age grow older, so too is what ‘fun’ can be. Nowadays, we enjoy the simple enjoyment of virtual titles and games played on iPhones, and many children with tech-savvy parents play these games too. However, ZowPow are keen to bring the toys of old and the games of now together, by creating a plush toy controller that allows children to interact with both.
One of the first toys that ZowPow, a new, two-person start-up, have invented is called ‘is a miniature plane which, fittingly, works with their game called ‘Tiny Plane’, a title that’s published by the EA-owned company, Chillingo. Unlike branded merch, however, that can just be a way to associate oneself with a brand outside of the virtual space, the tiny toys have a use within the game too. How the plush controller works is that using built-in sensors and accelerometers within the controller, the game is able to recognise which way it’s facing, adjusting the movement of the on-screen plane accordingly.
How the controller and game connect is via Bluetooth, with Tiny Plane being compatible with the following iOS devices: iPhone 4S or later, the iPad 3 or later, the iPad Mini and the iPod Touch 5. While ZowPow’s products are ambitious and affordable (plush controllers are available from their website for $29.99), in the future they won’t be focussing on developing their own games, instead partnering with third-party developers, creating controllers that work with their titles and then offering a revenue share with them.
You can watch a video of Tiny Plane in action below.
We’ll keep you posted once we know more.