We have now reviewed over 800 toys, technology and gadgets. What have we learned from our experience? Two things. First, the best toys, gadgets and gizmos employ technology that you never see. Second…we really need to get out more often.
The Osmo Creative Set Hides Some Impressive Technology
The Osmo Game System for the iPad has won critical acclaim for combining physical play with the digital world. Now the smart folks at Osmo have taken things a set further with the Osmo Creative Set and the Osmo Monster app.
The experience stars Mo the Monster and your drawings! That’s right, Mo, asks for various things he needs for a magic show and you (or your 4-10 year old child, if you ever let them have a turn) draw the items on the included white board. Then the magic begins as Osmo’s reflective AI technology incorporates what you draw into Mo’s digital world on an iPad.
The best way to understand the Osmo Creative Set is to see it in action. Please watch our video review of the Osmo Monster and Osmo Creative Set -
Content is King, Especially In An Interactive Animation Activity
If Mo was annoying, that would be bad…for everyone. Is there anything more tiresome than having to listen over and over again to a poorly done animation or story? Thankfully, Osmo brought in Zac Pavlov, an animation engineer from Disney, and Jesse Cirimele, a Stanford Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), to build the technology behind Monster. The result is an interactive experience that blurs the line between the physical and digital world, while being entertaining and fun.
Mo The Monster Magician’s Best Trick Is Never Seen
Have you noticed that we have talked very little about the technology that makes Osmo and Mo work. There is a reason for that – you almost forget there is some fancy technology making all this happen. You actually get caught up in creating a magic show with Mo and that is all that matters.
Not once in our testing did Mo say things like – draw larger, increase the light, I said a circle not a square, please redraw, etc. Your child draws, Mo brings it into his magic show. It really is as simple and elegant as that.
Of course behind the scenes, some advanced stuff is going on. Monster has been in development since the company’s inception in 2013, but the technical and creative hurdles proved to be much more challenging than anticipated, requiring more than three years and over 20 iterations to bring the product to fruition.
So, while there is a serious amount of technology at work in Osmo Monster, perhaps Mo’s greatest magic trick of all is making that technology disappear.
Osmo Creative Set Sells for $49.95 (The Osmo system must be purchased separately).
The Creative Set Includes the Osmo Creative Board, six Yoobi colorful chalk markers and a fuzzy pencil case, and the Monster, Newton, and Masterpiece apps. Both the Creative Board and the chalk markers have been specially calibrated for Osmo’s computer vision technology.