Apple is exclusive retailer of 'Parker,' world's first AR teddy bear

Posted:
in General Discussion
Children's toy startup Seedling on Tuesday launched Parker the Bear, an Apple store exclusive plush teddy bear that comes to life through iOS augmented reality effects.




Thanks to AR, a tentpole feature of Apple's latest iPhone devices and the iOS 11 operating system, Parker does not require the usual assortment of batteries, cameras and Wi-Fi radios to drive meaningful user interactions, and instead relies on a free AR app for playtime sessions.

Designed to facilitate play pretend, Parker comes with a doctor's kit, backpack and special X-ray bibs that trigger AR responses in the corresponding Seedling app. Children can diagnose common ailments with the included thermometer and stethoscope, then cure Parker with a medicine bottle and spoon.

Adding to the kit's charm, the accessories are made from wood, not plastic or synthetic materials.

An iPad or iPhone can be employed for more in-depth examinations of Parker's bones and internal organs. For example, kids can use 3D Touch to help Parker to take deeper breaths and test lung capacity. The in-app experience also features games and puzzles, as well as photo and video functionality.

Each time a player performs a successful treatment, solves a problem or completes a puzzle, Parker's Happiness Factor rises, eliciting special AR effects.

Designed for children ages three and up, Parker is considered a STEAM toy in that it offers kids a new way to learn about science, technology, education, arts, and math. As a doctor-style play product, the bear also teaches basic biology.

Apple often uses its retail store might to attract innovative startups marketing products that jibe with up and coming device technologies. In 2013, for example, the company partnered with Anki to sell the robotics and AI firm's iOS-connected remote control car set through Apple.com and brick-and-mortar Apple stores.

The introduction of Parker meshes with Apple's thrust into AR, which is just now taking root thanks to ARKit and specialized components introduced with the latest iPhone handsets.

Parker sells for $59.95 and is available exclusively from Apple.com and select Apple brick-and-mortar stores. Seedling is also selling the bear through its website.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Haha. Suck it, Android! Apple had better take some early advantage over Android devices using AR apps. Even if the ARKit can't sell more iOS devices, it should certainly keep current iOS users on the platform and lure more developers to the iOS platform. I hope Apple does a lot of marketing of AR on iOS. Only time will tell.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    AR is the future. I wanna see big apps and toys available for iPhone and iPad.

    (Apple TV in the future!)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,047member
    For some reason I thought of the movie Chuck.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    tshapitshapi Posts: 277member
    This will give new definition to imaginary friend 
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,604member
    I don’t get it, but that might be because I’m not a parent to a four-year-old. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Why does this read like a Chinese press release?
  • Reply 7 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,290member
    entropys said:
    For some reason I thought of the movie Chuck.
    I know you jest but I hope child psychologists were consulted and there is actually no risk some of these new types of toys may have negative consequences for young childrens' developing minds ...  'mommy Teddy's trapped in the iPad and wants to get out ...'
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 8 of 14
    It looks like his guts are hanging out. No thanks. 
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Haha. Suck it, Android! Apple had better take some early advantage over Android devices using AR apps. Even if the ARKit can't sell more iOS devices, it should certainly keep current iOS users on the platform and lure more developers to the iOS platform. I hope Apple does a lot of marketing of AR on iOS. Only time will tell.
    Have you watched the demo? Nobody is sucking anything. It's mostly just a standard app with a couple of gimmicky AR bits thrown in. If this was exclusive to Android you'd be mocking it
  • Reply 10 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,000member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I don’t get it, but that might be because I’m not a parent to a four-year-old. 
    Well, that’s the point isn’t it. These forums are full of negativity over various things Apple says, does, releases. But these are the opinions of individuals who for the most part don’t have a dog in the hunt. They complain about how a feature works or doesn’t work they way they would like and they don’t get it as to why others think things are just fine. Here is a simple toy and the negativity is already taking over. Just look at what’s being said.
    Rayz2016jony0
  • Reply 11 of 14
    lkrupp said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    I don’t get it, but that might be because I’m not a parent to a four-year-old. 
    Well, that’s the point isn’t it. These forums are full of negativity over various things Apple says, does, releases. But these are the opinions of individuals who for the most part don’t have a dog in the hunt. They complain about how a feature works or doesn’t work they way they would like and they don’t get it as to why others think things are just fine. Here is a simple toy and the negativity is already taking over. Just look at what’s being said.
    Some people would call this an "opinion," and if you don't agree with it you can 1) accept it or 2) label people as 'negative' because they simply don't like the product. 
  • Reply 12 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,290member
    It looks like his guts are hanging out. No thanks. 
    Thank heavens they are black and white not red and white!  lol
  • Reply 13 of 14
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,280member
    I'm not sure it's such a good idea to be teaching kids that the solution to every ailment is a drug, but other than that, it's probably fine except for the fact that you're giving young kids even more time on an electronic device which some would argue is a pedagogical mistake.   

    I see hyperactive 3- or 4-year-olds banging away on smartphones and Pads and it scares the hell out of me.  These kids are never going to be calm enough to read.  
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,604member
    lkrupp said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    I don’t get it, but that might be because I’m not a parent to a four-year-old. 
    Well, that’s the point isn’t it. These forums are full of negativity over various things Apple says, does, releases. But these are the opinions of individuals who for the most part don’t have a dog in the hunt. They complain about how a feature works or doesn’t work they way they would like and they don’t get it as to why others think things are just fine. Here is a simple toy and the negativity is already taking over. Just look at what’s being said.
    Armchair CEOs
    Armchair HR execs

    …and now Armchair Child Psychologists. 

    Does anyone on this forum actually have a real job?

    Oh hang on, I forgot the Armchair Clairvoyants with a hotline to Steve. 

    edited October 2017
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