LA-based toy startup Seedling has launched Parker, what it’s describing as the world’s first Augmented Reality teddy bear.
While the toy itself doesn’t feature any technology, Parker comes with an iOS companion app which unlocks new ways of playing with the bear. The app features games and puzzles, and works together with accessories to enable children to play doctor with their bear.
The idea, according to Seedling, is to teach kids ‘empathy, problem solving and open-ended play skills, all while developing digital literacy’.
As they play with Parker more, the app increases a ‘happiness factor’ which unlocks new features, including an AR ‘magic camera’ that overlays effects onto the world around them.
“We are taking old-school physical toys and bridging them with new technologies in a way that is gentle and safe to create meaningful experiences for families,” said Phoebe Hayman, founder and CEO of Seedling. “We are using technology as a tool to create magic that will bring Parker the Bear and a child’s imagination to life.”
Parker is initially being sold exclusively through Apple’s online and physical stores.