New app-enabled spy toy puts game design in the hands of children
February 14, 2010
Parents take note! Sneaky brothers and sisters beware! Soon your every move can be captured by a new kids' toy from Wild Planet. The Spy Video TRAKR is billed as the first app-enabled, programmable remote-controlled vehicle that transmits color video, audio and data, and allows kids to create, download and share custom programs.
The vehicle is pre-loaded with three apps including a night vision app so kids can park the remote-controlled vehicle in a strategic location and lie in wait for unsuspecting family members. When the motion alarm app is downloaded the camera can be used as a sensor and if kids have created or downloaded a custom app, they can capture the person's photo, trigger the alarm and set off a audio alert "You've been busted stealing cookies!" or similar. The vehicle will then automatically return to the driver before it can be seized by the enemy.
Apart from being a spy vehicle, the really cool thing about this toy is the capacity for kids to create their own custom apps, and then to share them with other kids around the world at no extra cost. Beginners can access an online application modulator that will allow them to modify existing apps as they familiarize themselves with writing code. All the tools they need to write their own unique programs will be available online, for free.
“Play should not be confined by the concepts and programs toy companies create,” says Daniel Grossman, CEO of Wild Planet Entertainment, Inc. “With the Spy Video TRAKR, we’re teaching kids how to write their own applications and program their toys to do exactly what they want them to do.” Kids will be able to post their custom apps on a designated website for other kids to access. Wild Planet expect the most downloaded apps to be ones created by kids, for kids, ones that could never have been dreamed up by industry executives. “We believe kids will fuel the spread of app-sharing in toys” says Grossman.
Wild Planet will be debuting the Spy Video TRAKR at the American International Toy Fair before its release in October 2010. It will retail for US$120, is aimed at kids 8yrs and upwards, and will doubtless be big hit with Santa!