Successful products understand the extent to which technology can add value to the dynamics of play and achieve a symbiosis of the physical and digital experience. We hope to see a growth in products that are perceived as pulling children back from digital towards active, creative, imaginative or social play, rather than towards more screentime.
Programming skills are still a strong area to watch. Whilst something like Ziro is tantalising to technology natives, a highly collectible coding-related product range which offers kids fun play while appealing to parents and offering a low price point for entry could have a significant impact.
Advances in computer vision and positional tracking will also disrupt this space. Experiences delivered with AR technologies like Hololens, Magic Leap and CastAR will be enhanced when used with connected physical props. Even the encapsulated world of VR will capitalise on the blurring between the real and virtual as they continue to embrace physical movement and real-world peripherals.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the sector with significant opportunities for products that understand children’s play, buying habits and technology. And it feels like we’re only just getting started.
To hear more about the future of digital and physical play, join Lucy on the Connected Toy Story panel on Thursday 7th July, or join Phil on his is masterclass on Wednesday 6th: How to design games children want. Alternatively, feel free to just drop us a line for chat.
Lucy Gill, Founder of Digills Research & Consulting, is a Children’s UX, apps and digital expert. She was previously a Director at Fundamentally Children and creator of their Good App Guide, and remains an active Associate for them. Lucy is a thought leader in this area, and is dedicated to bringing her extensive experience, passion for good UX and love of innovative children’s products into projects to benefit the next generation.