You’ve seen it at restaurants, on public transit, maybe even in your own home: a child mesmerized by a game on an iPad, tuning out nearby adults. Osmo, a combination of iPad accessories and software, is meant to break the zombie-like stares and bring more of the real world back into the mix, by providing games that interact with just about any physical object—pen, paper, blocks, even toys your kids already own.
Tangible Play, a Silicon Valley startup founded by former Google, Disney and Ubisoft employees, created Osmo to recognize objects in the real world. It “sees” them by using the iPad’s front-facing camera, which it hoods with a clip-on plastic mirror. The clip lets the camera look down to the area in front of the iPad, Osmo’s play space. From there, kids can use Osmo game tiles and puzzle pieces, along with whatever objects they bring into the mix.
Everything but the iPad is sold in one package—the mirror clip, along with an iPad stand, and the pieces for three different games. The three games, called “Newton,” “Words” and “Tangram,” seem fairly simple. (You can see them in action in the Osmo ad below.)
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