Osmo connects real kids’ toys with iPad games

tangible plays osmo connects real kids toys ipad
Are your eyes getting tired just watching your kid stare endlessly at your iPad? What happened to real toys, you may ask yourself. Well, they haven’t gone anywhere, but building blocks and Crayola crayons just don’t seem to be getting the love they used to get. Now, a new startup called Tangible Play hopes to change that with Osmo, a app and hardware kit that takes real toys and connects them with your iPad.

Right now, the company has three different game sets that work with corresponding apps for iPad:

  • Tangram: This old-fashioned Tangram game brings back a wave of childhood memories.
  • Newton: Newton is a drawing app slash obstacle course.
  • Words: This is a Scrabble-like game that asks you to guess the correct word based on the letters you see on the screen.

All of these games include brightly colored, physical toys that connect in real-time to the apps on your iPad, where you see the difficult task that awaits you.

Osmo GamesOnce you’ve downloaded the companion apps, all that’s left is to clip on the small, red mirroring device that reflects the gaze of your iPad’s camera 90 degrees downward to the table top or floor you are playing on with the physical toys. The camera than sends the visual information of what you are doing with the physical toys to the app, which then interprets and reflects your actions on the iPad screen. The apps use incredible optical recognition and artificial intelligence to understand what’s happening on the table and turns the iPad into a gaming screen.

The Tangram game is pretty self-explanatory. A specific shape appears on the iPad display and you then have to manipulate the puzzle pieces until you complete the design. When you get it right, the shape flashes on the screen. With Words, you try to form the correct word using physical letter tiles. Newton is the most original and video-game like of all the apps. To play, you take a piece of paper and a drawing implement. Then, you place an obstacle like keys or a toy dinosaur on the paper and try to create a structure with lines to avoid bouncing balls and hit targets.

The idea behind Osmo is that kids should actually play with real-world objects rather than limiting their interactions to a virtual reality onscreen. Real play is important because it helps develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and a strong social IQ (if they’re playing with their friends). Former Google employees and proud parents Pramod Sharma and Jérôme Scholler created Osmo to give their kids a new kind of toy that offers both physical and digital learning.

Right now, Osmo is in the early stages of a crowd-funding campaign. Pre-orders for the game bundle are available now for $49, but Osmo will retail for $99 when it reaches its $50,000 fundraising goal. The game apps and the toy kits are compatible with the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Retina, and iPad Air.

Available at: Amazon

Mobile

Get your gaming on the go with this list of the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Home Theater

Don't wake the baby! How to connect headphones to a TV

Do you need to connect a pair of headphones to your TV? Our handy guide will show you how to hook up your headphones in a variety of ways, whether you're using wired headphones, wireless headphones, or gaming headsets.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Deals

Bigger than Black Friday: Don’t miss the best Single’s Day deals

Thanks to AliExpress, Single's Day – the world's largest retail day – is no longer a foreign affair. If you're ready to do some early holiday shopping or want to score some discounts ahead of Black Friday, we've rounded up some of the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Our favorite ebook reader is not a Kindle. Here are all the best options

If you're a bookworm, an ebook reader can be an important part of your life, one that allows you to read your books whenever and wherever you like. But which should you get? Here are five of the best ebook readers available.
Mobile

Samsung made a $2,700 flip phone with the brains of a smartphone

The Samsung W2019 is a high-end flip phone that comes with flagship specifications such as 6GB of RAM and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. The device features a pair of S-AMOLED displays, a dual rear camera setup, and an eye-popping price tag.
Mobile

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Mobile

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Mobile

Google’s Gboard now uses A.I. to recommend GIFs based on your conversation

Google is bringing a new feature to Gboard that should make it better for those that regularly use GIFs and stickers. The feature essentially uses A.I. to recommend GIFs and stickers based on your conversation.