Augmented Reality and Toys; An Interview with Kevin Mak

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One of my distinct memories of the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report, was its use of Augmented Reality as an advertising device of the future.  The movie came out in 2002 but it showed Cruise walking through a shopping area and seeing super-imposed, computer generated images  At the time I saw it as science fiction.  As it turned out, Augmented Reality is very much with us as a marketing tool, has showed up in puzzles but is still relatively new to toys.

I wanted to learn more about Augmented Reality so I spoke with Kevin Mak, creator of AR Attack, a toy that allows users to shoot at aliens that appear to be showing up in their bedroom, car or playground.

AR Attack will be exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in North Hall LVCC #6531   Here is my interview:

Richard
Augmented reality has been around for a while now yet no one has until now come up with a product that has been commercially successful.  Why do you feel that your AR Attack will be the product that breaks through?

Kevin
Augmented Reality has been commonly used for marketing purposes, such as real time product demonstrations.   AR attack is therefore among the first few toy products available with augmented reality. With the 1st person shooting experience in real time, real environment, AR Attack offers the first toy product that provides an interaction between a game app and a physical toy. 

Richard
What ages are you targeting for AR Attack?

Kevin
AR Attack is targeted for toddler to teens. We designed it so it would be easily usable by small children.  Whoever plays is caught up in the alien story we created and the experience of shooting at aliens right there in their own room.

Richard
Do you have any plans to create a version of AR Attack that ties in with themes that appeal to girls?  After all, a fashion doll is about the same size as an action figure.

Kevin
We are launching a new game and toy at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas. This new game is called The Head HuntAR. This new app is allowing players to interact between themselves and their targets that are captured through their smart devices and target them as the shooting targets. It could be a fun gadget toy for girls. 

Richard
Things move fast in the 21st century.  How do you plan to keep AR Attack out in front of the competition?

Kevin
We are planning to expand AR toys in different areas, not just in shooting targets, so the actual potential is limitless. One of our upcoming projects will combine traditional toys (wooden) and a 3D game app.  

Richard
You have some pretty big competition in Disney Infinity and Skylanders.  How do you plan to compete for play time and shelf space?

Kevin
To be able to stand out rather than pushing out new toy every year, we focus on well-developed and fun toys before we launch into the market. We think there is no immediate rush for us to compete with any brands. We see an advantage in being flexible as well as an active observer.     `

Richard
Thank you Kevin.

 

2 thoughts

  1. The concept itself carries loads of fun, yet I do agree with Bassin regarding the shooting part for toddlers and even kids.

  2. Why does this guy think it is appropriate for “toddlers” to learn to shoot? He should be ashamed of himself marketing violent toys to such young kids.

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