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Augmented Reality In Educational Toy: Globe Comes Alive

The Shifu Orboot is an AR enabled Globe that helps children to learn about various places across the world.

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Even before I could hand it over to my 8 year old daughter for a review, what caught my attention was the study packaging in which the globe arrived. Nice, big, easy to carry, colourful box makes this looks like a top contender for a perfect birthday gift. Straight out of the box, the eye for detailing will surprise you. There is the big round globe. But there is also a passport book, your tickets to fly around the world and a rubber stamp – the things which straightway went from the box to my daughters doll house.

I have always found the globe a very interesting object to play with during my childhood. And I wanted my daughter to experience it in a similar way. But I guess, she doesn’t share the same interest as mine. Or maybe it is just the generation. So, within 15 minutes, she figured out that to explore the globe, we will need to download an App from the istore or the play store. I had to oblige.

The Orboot app by PlayShifu is a free to download app, available on both iOS and Android stores. The App is a complimentary companion to your globe. While, I would have still preferred the traditional way of being excited to find a country on the globe, the App probably makes it more interactive and interesting for the kids.

The App is loaded with features and can keep your child engaged on it. It has different sections to engage and teach your kid.

The main attraction obviously is when you use the AR explore where you point the phone to a particular destination on the globe and app starts telling you about its history, culture, food, animal habitat etc. 3D animation characters appear on the screen to make it even more interesting. Great way to learn! It’s not always a cake walk though. You need good light, steady hands to point the camera at the globe and make the camera recognize location or objects – something my 8 year old took some time to master.

After the initial excitement of novelty dies down, comes the challenging part. How do you make the kid go back again to learning? For that the App has other sections which doesn’t even require the globe. Each of these sections have enough material to keep your child engaged and help him/her learn along the way. However, you need to keep a check on the screen time. I would have personally loved to see a screen time alert or a dark mode or brightness dimming functionality in an App made for kids. Hoping it may come in later as an update.

Priced at Rs 1,999, I found this to be a great learning toy for kids.   

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Shifu Orboot