Norfolk “smart” playgrounds harness the creative power of augmented reality

Norfolk “smart” playgrounds harness the creative power of augmented reality

Briana Adhikusuma | The Virginian-Pilot | Source URL

Slides, swings, monkey bars and an augmented reality.

A company is using technology to help lead kids away from screens and encourage outside play. The trick: mobile games on apps.

Canada-based developer Biba puts the phone in the parents’ hands and requires the parent to tell the children what to do for the game – run around to interact with different characters, race across monkey bars or crawl through a tunnel to find a treasure, for example.

Biba has several apps with different themes such as dinosaur digs, relay races, team games, and obstacle courses.

The company’s augmented reality markers are installed at two Norfolk playgrounds: Tidewater Park at Tidewater Elementary School and Meadowbrook Park between West Little Creek Road and Trouville Avenue. When scanned with the apps, the markers activate games and content.

Children must be active for at least 80 percent of the game, according to Biba.

The apps can also be used on playgrounds without the markers and are designed for children ages 3 to 9. They can be downloaded for free through both iTunes and Google Play.

– Briana Adhikusuma, The Pilot

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