Billions of devices are now connected around the world through the internet of things (IoT). It is a smart way of adding digital intelligence to things that are usually dumb and giving the ability to communicate without any human interference. The IoT is now applied in almost everything including the toy world.
Toys play a major role in a child’s cognitive learning and creativity at the early stages of their life. There are different ranges of toys from simple to complicated and they all keep evolving as the world continues to embrace technology.
What distinguishes smart toys from regular toys?
Before artificial intelligence came to the minds of innovators, children had regular toys to play with but as the world has advanced toys are now made smarter. This gives children a different experience in so many ways in terms of their development. Smart toys are not only designed for fun but also play a role in educating the mind. The educational smart toys are a combination of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) all packed in one toy. These type of smart toys are usually referred to as STEM-smart toys.
Who makes these toys?
Many companies are now devoting themselves into developing smart toys as the demand is now high in the market. There are many toy companies into making IoT smart toys for both children and adults. We have companies like Spheroid, SmartGurlz, Reach Robotics, LEGO, Mattel, Fisher- Price, Disney, Crayola, Popar toys and many others.
The smart toys come in many forms like puzzles, AR cards or cubes, books, drones, and even robot-like characters. Children are able to learn how to interact with toys to understand concepts like geography, sports, sciences, and even animals. For instance, SmartGurlz toy teaches girls how to code in a very original way and it is amongst the best selling toys in the market.
IoT Application in Toys
It is indisputable that smart toys are now the most on demand toys in the market. Toys are more advanced and can entertain children with their new digital intelligence. We have toys that can remember the answers given to them, toys that can identify objects, drawings and even interact with children.
Here are some impressive applications of the internet of things on some of the best toys we have in the toy industry today.
Coding and Programming for Fun
We mentioned earlier that smart toys like SmartGurlz are used to learn to code, there is asking another sophisticated toy called SAM. It is a block game that is connected to several devices and applications. One unique feature about this toy is that it can be connected to an app to enable you to program the gadget. You also create your own connection to the cloud and there are so many other things you can do with this gadget. The block is able to create anything we can think of.
A connected companion
Another interesting smart toy company is the Cognitoys which is used for educating children. The toy company has a new toy called Dino. It is a doll that can have a very intelligent conversation, give answers to questions and also assist with research. The smart toy uses machine learning to quickly adapt and evolve with its interaction to humans. Dino is also able to show emotional intelligence. The doll can handle simple mathematical problems, crack Jones and even give advice. The toy serves as a good companion because it is very portable to carry around because it has not additional external gadgets attached to it. It can be programmed through its mobile app.
With our tablets and smartphones, we are able to connect to different services like games and other forms of entertainment. Osmo recently developed an idea in the form of a variety of games that take advantage of augmented reality which is another great technology that uses IoT and the phone or tablet camera. The game allows children to learn basic skills like maths z programming, vocabulary, maths, and other things.
A Connected Furby
Furby is a toy by Hasbro in the Star Wars universe. The toy is connected to the Furbacca app and allows you to control the puppet Chewbacca. Using the connected app, you would be able to collect figures and receive prizes. The electronic pet can be fed and you can get different reactions from the puppet using the app. The also allows you to interact more closely with the robot pet as you continue to play.
A lot of effort is being put into IoT toy applications and it is expected that there is still more to be expected in the toy industry with the application of IoT technology.