Nowadays, it is common to see small children playing with tablets. The new generations are growing up getting used to technology and while this can be a good thing, it also raises concerns for parents and teachers who believe that too much technology may disconnect children for reality and have a negative impact in their development. For instance, with a tablet, children cannot touch and feel textures, feel weight or discover and learn all the things that they could learn from traditional games. Osmo is a game accessory for Apple’s iPad, that tries to reconnect technology and reality when it comes to playing. Using the iPad’s camera. Osmo will transform the area in front of the tablet into play zone that sends information back to the device. Osmo’s retail price is set to be $99 but it is currently available for pre-order for $57, including shipping until June 22nd.
This inventive gaming accessory is suitable for children over the age of 6 and adults can enjoy Osmo’s games too. It is compatible with iPad 2 and above, including iPad Mini. Osmo consists on a regular stand for your iPad and a red camera attachment and it is easy to set up. The package also includes three games: Newton, Tangram and Words, as well as a kit of blocks and cardboard letters.
The stand works well even as a basic iPad stand. The red attachment is placed over the iPad’s camera and it works like a mirror that reflects real actions into the digital world. There are no major technical requirements, you don’t even need Wi-Fi connection or to turn on Bluetooth, Osmo simply uses the camera to translate real world images into digital environment versions.
The three games are very entertainment and allow kids to develop different areas. There are no pieces included for Newton because children can use any object to play such as toys, fruits or their hands. Children can draw in a piece of paper or use their hands to interact with the digital beads that appear in the iPad’s screen. For Words, the Osmo package contain two full alphabet sets and you can play hangman and try to guess the word by throwing cardboard letters in front of the tablet. With their Tangram puzzle, they include beautifully crafted wooden pieces to put together and create animal shapes as directed by the Osmo app.
When an action is completed correctly, the app will let you know by playing a nice tune and the whole family can have fun as Osmo allows more than one player at the time. For instance, you can play “Words” with tow teams, assigning blue letters for one and red letters for another. The app works really well and is very intuitive. Osmo is a very promising accessory and a great way of keeping children connected with the real world while enjoying the benefits of technology.