Apple stores probably aren’t your first port of call when it comes to picking up toys, but it’s the only place you’ll be able to purchase one particular new toy made by the manufacturer Seedling.
Seedling’s brand new Parker the bear is described as the world’s first augmented reality teddy bear. Intended for kids three years and up, the bear serves as both a cuddly companion and an all-important child-friendly introduction to the world of ARKit.
The bear doesn’t include any electronic components, but when it’s used in conjunction with an iPhone or iPad it is brought to life in a variety of ways. This includes the use of augmented reality to put Parker into backdrops like magic forests or undersea gardens, or to let kids play at being doctor by using packaged accessories (including medicine, x-ray bib, toy stethoscope and more) to diagnose and treat stomach bugs and sore throats. The nicer Parker is treated, the more his world will be transformed by augmented reality effects.
The bear is available for $59.95 with all the tech that you’ll need (except the iOS device) to get playing. While that’s not cheap, Seedling hopes that the high-tech bear will serve a valuable role by helping to teach kids skills like empathy and problem solving.
And, you know, from Apple’s point of view, hopefully getting them hooked on iOS from a young age.