Monday, December 24, 2012
Popar Toys is designed to change the way we interact and experience stories, adventures and learning. It combines what parents (education and reading) and kids want to make learning fun. Imagine a book with a video game like interactive aspect! Popar Toys is a whole line of 3D books with the newest augmented reality toy. The latest book is Princess and Her Pals. With this 3D book you can explore the castle and all the rooms while helping the Princesses gather up all their belongings to get ready for the Rainbow Ball.
I spoke with Scott Jochim, founder of Popar Toys
How does this neat technology work?
As a child holds a Popar Book up to a computer, the entire book will come alive—explaining educational lessons and allowing interaction with every part of the book.
Popar Toys has also introduced new mobile technology that allows you to use Popar technology from anywhere. In addition, we released a mobile application that turns everyday household items (like a dollar bill) into fun and interactive games. Currently, the Popar Book series includes Bugs, Construction, Planets, and Princess and Her Pals. Popar Technology works on both a Mac and PC computer and applications are available for iPhone, Android and iPad.
How did you first start out?
It has always been extremely important for me to have a career that is rewarding, challenging and fun. I want to use my imagination to make a difference in people’s lives.
When I finally gave up on my dream to become a real life Indiana Jones, I decided on a degree in Industrial Psychology. However, half way through my college experience I met an engineer who was working on a Virtual Reality (VR) project that involved simulating atoms in a near freezing state through VR goggles and 3D interface gloves—basically cancer research in a virtual world. It fascinated me that you could play in a world that has no boundaries or limitations. I loved the idea that you could work in a virtual world while making a difference in real life. It was a field where adults could be kids.
What did you do before starting Popar Toys?
Before starting my own company I worked for a variety of companies where I built military simulators, worked in Virtual Reality training, education, and entertainment, and studied engineering and best business practices. Through all my experience, the most important lesson I learned was that with enough passion, you can do anything you set your mind to. After using my technology background to do everything from motion simulators to cancer therapy, I finally started my own venture—Digital Tech Frontier, and eventually launched Popar Toys.
How do you hope your product/s will affect children’s lives?
I believe that our products are unique, engaging, entertaining, and allow kids an experience like nothing else. We love the fact that we have created a product that is so captivating. We have received countless letters from parents, teachers and children thanking us for allowing them to have a different play experiences. It’s not about creating a toy that makes you a millionaire; it’s about designing quality products that will keep kids coming back for more so they can learn about bugs, and construction machines, and planets, or maybe even to just have fun.
What is one unique quality that makes your product better than your competition?
Our product stands out from our competitors in several different ways. As a technology company first, our entire line of toys is based on Augmented Reality and its capabilities. We provide animations and interactivity on every single page, as opposed to selective pages. We let our consumers play with our product in an array of different ways to appeal to multiple types of interactivity. One of our coolest features is that while you are enjoying and experiencing one of our 3D toys, we allow you to turn into your favorite character at the same time, and give you the option to create your own videos or pictures to share with your friends and family using our technology.
Tell me about your latest book/line up
In time for the holidays, the augmented reality toy Princess and her Pals is the latest book from the Popar Toy line. Other books include: bugs, planets and construction toys. In addition, Popar Toys has incorporated video games into the books. For example, all books now include a breaker style game is a new way to play and interact with your favorite classic game. The brick playfield is in the world and environment around you.
With this new game, kids work their way through 9 levels of walls, towers, bridges and more. You can play the game in your kitchen, office, bedroom or even in the back seat of your car. You may need to physically turn, twist, tilt and inspect the area before unleashing the fury of your destructive balls in this de-construction game of skill and mastery.
What are some awards you received:
Popar Toys recently received:
-- 'Best Toy of the Toy Fair 2012' - The View
-- National Parenting Seal of Approval 2012
-- Two Thumbs Up -- Inside Media
-- Coolest Gadgets 2012
-- Toys to Talk About: Construction Toys - TD Monthly Magazine
-- Creative Child Magazine 2012
To see a brief demo of how the technology works go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9LNCz9pL2Q