The connected play space is poised for some major growth in the coming years, projected to increase 200 per cent in the next five years.
To facilitate the toy industry’s entry into this emerging sector, tech toy specialists at Collabsco and Toyology are collaborating on a new and forward-looking venture.
TechUp is the brainchild of Collabsco’s Valerie Vacante and Toyology’s Peter Jenkinson and is billed as a new service to showcase the future of play, by placing the latest innovations ‘into people’s hands so they can play, learn and explore the world of tech.’
Launching this week at the Wired Live and Wired Next Generation events on London’s South Bank, the new initiative aims to give visitors the chance to experience connected play at some of the world’s leading technology events.
TechUp’s launch event will feature the likes of Hasbro’s Nerf Laser Ops Pro, the stackable physical-digital toy hybrid Beasts of Balance by Sensible Object, a showcase of the the next level robotics, gaming and AR brought to life in MekaMon by Reach Robotics and Thames and Kosmos’ Sensors Alive.
The outfit’s key aim is to give the toy companies who should be presenting at show’s like Wired Live, CES, SXSW and more but are restricted in doing so by budgets, the chance to achieve presence at these events.
“Wired Live brings to life the fantastic and compelling stories on ideas, business, technology and design while Wired Next Generation focuses on creating a unique, educational and inspirational festival dedicated to youths aged 13 to 19,” said Vacante. “Plans are underway to showcase TechUp at global events including CES, SXSW and beyond.”
Through TechUp’s network, partners can “secure affordable rates across more relevant industry events across the globe - connecting with consumers and influencers to explore and experience an ever-growing number of products,” said Jenkinson.
“We saw a consistent challenge in the industry, there is an educational process with new technologies, getting the product in people’s hands is key to gaining product insights and valuable consumer feedback,” continued Vacante.
“For startups, challenger brands and established global brands, it can be difficult to prioritise which events to participate in and attend all while remaining focused on product development priorities.
“With TechUp, there are affordable ways to have a presence, gain media coverage and direct consumer feedback.”
The initiative emerges from recent data from Juniper Research that projects the smart toy sector to represent an $18 billion hardware and software market by 2023. This is a surge from the estimated $6 billion in 2018.