“There are many solutions in the market today that use sensing technology to help us measure, and control our lives. As designers, we have an opportunity to transform the use of sensing technology and empower kids to safely explore the world using a new set of tools.”
Yibu includes five crafted wooden toys embedded with sensing technology, which are connected to a character experiencing environmental challenges on the screen. Children who play the game learn about the world around them and feel empowered to positively influence it.
Physical Influences Digital
The sensing toys gather real-time environmental data and, together with location-based data, influence the digital game. By moving around and placing the toys in different situations, the child discovers how temperature, sound, light, direction and rotation influence the digital character.
Today kids are spending more time indoors and alone with digital devices than ever before, often at the expense of physical activity. Yibu turns the home into an adventure playground where kids can be active and have fun in a safe environment.
Challenges become more complex as players progress through the game, requiring them to combine different sensors to achieve their goals. Yibu is designed as a modular platform that could offer a variety of different games that connect to the sensing toys.
frog began this frogLabs™ project by experimenting extensively with multiple sensor interactions, character development and generative storytelling.
We named the product Yibu – pronounced “ee-boo” and meaning “first step” in Mandarin – which represents the introduction of technology to children and the birth place of the concept.
Together with a local toy craftsman in Shanghai, frog created the first wooden toy prototypes, testing shape, size and color, which directly informed the brand language for the product
We hope Yibu will inspire organizations and investors in the toy retailing, smart toy, gaming and education markets to make kids’ screen time a more meaningful and physically active experience.
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