John Zhao is an entrepreneur, designer and the founder of AR school in China, a team of graphic designers and consultants with a background in teaching and education who make, amongst other things, cool Augmented Reality games for kids. John’s attempts to impress his 5 year old daughter by designing some “AR” game cards have resulted in a crowdfunding campaign aimed at distributing his amazing “Magic Cards” internationally.
John describes his product as the “easiest and most interesting way to enjoy augmented reality”, and as you will see from the video, the cards and games are certainly colourful, well designed and nicely executed.
There are 93 different characters and 123 different illustrations, enough to keep even the most hyperactive child entertained, and they come in a specially designed magical box that even includes a sponge for cleaning. It seems like AR school are a very professional outfit.
The real bonus however, comes when you launch the accompanying iPad / tablet app and hey presto! The card contains code which when placed behind screen, is read and comes to life on screen in an explosion of 3D colour. It’s very cool and exciting and there are any number of games that can be played once the 3d element begins to lose its fascination, from counting, to stories, to learning a foreign language. Part of the reason for the launch of the crowdfunding campaign is to launch a full English language version of the game, “AR Magic Cards 2”.
It’s worth pointing out that AR cards aren’t new and brands like Disney, Nintendo and Sony have all released similar style products, but the thought and imagination that has gone into AR Magic cards is impressive and that’s probably because, as John points out in his video, the bulk of his team are young and talented with seemingly boundless levels of enthusiasm!
The product, which launches on Indiegogo on September 14th is heavily suggested as a potential Christmas present. Delivery on all products is free and prices start at a very reasonable (for a child’s gift) $39, making it, according to the AR School’s press release, the cheapest AR product in the world.
Maybe it’s a teeny bit cheesy, but the product does seem like a good way to combine the power of a child’s imagination with the practicality of helping them to learn how touchscreens, tablets and modern tech devices work. It’s interactive, adult friendly and seems to have been put together by a very professional outfit, who have even developed their own compression technology to help store the large amounts of information the game needs to run on mobile devices.
So now that the temperature is dropping, summers over and its time to start thinking about how to spend those long winter evenings (just kidding!), there’s a game changing, disruptive new choice you can make if you choose which will make John Zhao and his team very happy, as well as making the world, they promise, “more interesting”. It certainly sounds like an interesting shout to us!