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Osmo blends digital and physical games for iPad fun

editors-choiceThe Premise. Tablets and online games have captured children’s imaginations so much so that kids don’t seem to have fun off screen anymore. It’s difficult for parents to get their children to explore the three-dimensional world while competing with digital wonders.

The Product. Osmo is a unique gaming system that combines the entertainment of an onscreen game with the interaction of physical objects. With three different game choices, kids can hook up Osmo to a recent iPad and play onscreen and off at the same time. The games included focus on tangram puzzles and patterns, drawing shapes, and word scrambles. The accompanying base attachment clips over the iPad’s camera and uses Artificial Intelligence and a built-in mirror to allow the iPad to reflect the child’s movements onscreen in real time. In simpler terms, the iPad shows the child moving the shapes, for example, on its screen and uses this information to determine if the child is on the right track.

The Pitch. Osmo’s simple video shows one, two, and then a bunch of kids flocking to play with the product. The children ooh and ahh at the game and seeing the product in action will elicit the same reaction from viewers. Pictures of children playing with the device in a myriad of ways pepper the rest of the campaign. Testimonials from educators and parents as well as logos from a number of respectable news sources give the product some authority. In addition, Osmo’s campaign exists on its own website as opposed to on a crowd-funding site. For this reason, they have no public goal set on their site. They will be accepting pre-orders for backers until June 22nd.

The Perks. Osmo’s site offers only one reward. For 50% off of the retail price of $99, backers will receive the Osmo kit for only $49 with the base attachment, and Words and Tangram games (iPad not included, obviously). The creators expect to ship by late summer 2014. 

The Potential. To put it quite simply, Osmo is really cool. It’s the type of game that would be glimpsed at in a movie set in the future. Not only is it rare that a product for children combines the physical with the digital, but it also uses games that help kids’ minds to learn and grow. The retail price seems extremely reasonable and the pre-order price is an absolute steal. Osmo also lets kids play together, using several two-player modes, cutting down on the type of social isolation that screen games usually cause. All in all, Osmo will enjoy great success on the market, creating fun for children and parents alike.

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