Apple Embraces Augmented Reality Teddy Bears at its Stores

Apple’s been making a major push into augmented reality (AR) over the last few months – as if you hadn’t noticed – with the release of ARKit for developers and then iOS 11 for consumers. Head into an Apple store and you’ll find another AR product, a teddy bear called Parker.

Created by startup Seedling and exclusive to Apple stores, Parker is a cuddly teddy which can be brought to life with an AR app for iPhone or iPad so that kids can learn and play at the same time. Retailing for $59.95 USD, the Parker bundle comes with Parker the Bear; Parker’s backpack; Interactive toy thermometer; Toy stethoscope; Wooden spoon; Wooden medicine; Felt x-ray bibs and A Letter from Parker.

Parker the Bear

Using these accessories in conjunction with the app allows children to give Parker a checkup, learn about Parker’s inner organs, help Parker take deeper breaths and test lung capacity and even fight a stomach bug by squashing stomach germs.

They’ll also be able to build an under the sea garden or a magical mushroom forest using the camera feature and watch how Parker’s Happiness Factor grows and the world gets brighter the more they play.

“Seedling is reimagining play. 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, Seedling in a statement. “We are using technology as a tool to create magic that will bring Parker the Bear and a child’s imagination to life.”

All this is made possible thanks to Apple’s ARKit which studios have been keenly developing for. iOS 11 users will already have seen quite a few AR apps appear on the App Store, with titles such as HoloGrid: Monster BattleARise and Army of Robots just a few that are available.

For further Apple AR updates, keep reading VRFocus.