App and children’s toy developer Stui believes its first toy, Wonderblox, can help ease parent’s tensions around balancing fun with education when it comes to pre-school toys.
Wonderblox is an app and a set of wooden blocks that uses an iPad screen as the play area. The play-set uses an embedded mirror to direct the iPad’s front-facing camera to the play area, allowing children to position the blocks on the iPad screen to spell out words.
The toy then detects the play pieces in real-time, while the app’s spelling and letter recognition mechanism recognises patterns, geometric shapes and letters from every existing language.
“We think playing with physical stuff is really important for kids’ development, and enhancing their motor skills and co-ordination,” Stui CEO Yoav Dori told ToyNews.
“Digital technology isn’t going away, so we thought how can we take the best of both worlds and create something totally new with these two mediums.
“Kids aged three, four, five years old love the iPad so I think Wonderblox is an interesting way for them to play with stuff that they wouldn’t have played with.
“Parents know that toys are fun but I think there is a tension there between getting something that their kids love but also getting something that has a benefit to them. We try to answer that tension.”
Dori believes now is the right time to launch a toy like Wonderblox into the market, with parents more open to digital toys than a few years back.
“The first wave of tech toys hit the market two or three years ago and the market wasn’t ready,” added Dori.
“Right now, we’re seeing the second wave and it might be this wave that will catch on because people are much more open to it.
Next for the firm is to see the results of the Wonderblox Kickstarter campaign, but whether successful or not, Stui will be bringing the toy to market in the UK next year.