Melbot Studios is taking to Kickstarter from this week to launch its new project to bring virtual and physical pets colliding together in a collection of kawaii pets that is akin to blending Pokémon with Tamagotchi, while making use of AR technology.
Called Melbits POD, the new launch is a sensor filled toy that incubates and hatches a collection of kawaii virtual pets to a smart device by performing and completing certain tasks in each user’s physical surroundings. The tech toy communicates with a mobile device that, with the POD, children can catch and grow their own collection of Melbits.
Each POD is equipped with Temperature, Light, and Motion sensors, all of which will measure when tasks have been completed in order to hatch specific Melbits. The POD will encourage kids to use their imagination to complete the different incubations.
A timed mission has to be performed with the toy in the real world and away from the screen. If the mission is successful, it will unlock a new character for the collection, allowing kids to take care of it, customise it and play with it in AR. As you complete incubations, you will unlock new Melbits, unique props and skills.
“Melbits Pod is an experience for all ages. For the little ones it helps balance time between electronic devices and become active in a world of imagination,” read a statement from Melbot Studios. “A new take on STREAM Toys that focuses on soft skills, it is designed to bring back the joy of playing with your surroundings and create a positive relationship with technology.”
Melbits POD packs light, temperature and movement sensors in a durable casing that can connect to a mobile device via Bluetooth, syncing with a free-to-download app suitable for iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.
There are three main families in the Melbit collection: Light, Temperature and Motion. Each has their own quirks and varies to great degree depending on which side of the spectrum where they incubated.
Meanwhile, on each branch of the Melbits family tree kids will find over 50 Melbits Pod recipes. As you complete incubations, by using a mix of natural elements and your imagination, you will unlock new Melbits, unique props and skills.
These virtual pets that will demand attention from time to time, but only during a determined number of hours a day that parents can control. They also overlap the digital world with the real world thanks to Augmented Reality (AR) and take your Melbits for a walk or visualise how your virtual pets evolve inside the POD in real time.
Melbot is an entertainment startup from the east coast of Spain with offices in Valencia and Barcelona. Its focus is to develop proprietary products that combine the best attributes of toys – like the tangibility and open ended play – with the immersive, narrative and multimedia aspects of video games; all under fresh and cohesive new IP that weave the narrative with the products themselves.
“With Melbits, our goal is to bring a positive spin to the use of digital technologies and help families to create healthy digital manners through play,” said the firm.
“Melbot has put together a strong trans-disciplinary team with its focus on designing and developing products that always have a rich narrative, an outstanding execution quality and a versatile scalability.”