When it comes to toys, I firmly believe that a globe is an absolute must have for every child at some point in their early life. After all, as they become more aware of their place in the world, and how each culture and country is placed in relation to them, what better way to understand and experience it in a hands on way.
We have a globe lamp for the girls which we have always used to show the girls where they are right now, where Daddy is when he is away on business, where we are going on holiday, and other travel related discussions. For the rest of the time, it’s quite a nice night light in the corner of the room, gathering dust.
So how can you take a globe, and make it into a more dynamic and interactive learning play thing?
Say hi to Orboot.
This is a globe with a difference. It’s learning opportunities and magic lies beyond the sphere of geographical images, cultural, historical and natural pins. It is an introduction to a world of augmented reality, where in partnership with a downloadable app, allows its user to literally travel the world and explore different countries, cultures and habitats through real eyes.
How it works
Within your Orboot box lies one 10″ globe and a selection of play along accessories – a passport, stamper, stickers and a how to instruction booklet.
To access the Orboot app you will need to download the Orboot App to your mobile device or tablet, follow the simple to follow instructions and download the sections you fancy. (Orboot app works with – iPad 3 & above, iPad mini 2 & above, iPhone 6 & above, any Android device with KitKat 4.4 or above, 2GB RAM, minimum 5″ screen).
On the surface of Orboot you can find plenty of images and small stars which interact with your camera device to create a mesmerising display of moving, 3D animals, monuments, and people through the camera ‘explore’ function of your live app.
- 1.a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
As you toggle through the available information deck; Animals, Culture, Inventions, Monuments, Maps, and then by pressing on the 3D image, tap into the further information decks. A friendly voice reads through the facts and a fun quiz section allows the user to test their knowledge.
As well as the Explore function within the app, the Orboot has a Mysteries section in which a cute character Shifu takes the user on a cryptic tour through some mysterious tales which Shifu needs your help to solve!
When the mysteries are unravelled, the player is rewarded with coins and jewels which are stored in the Orboot World bank, allowing the player to see where they have visited and learnt about on Shifu’s travels.
The Orboot globe is a seriously smart toy for curious kids. With no leads or batteries required, it’s amazingly developed to be child safe and hassle free; in fact I’m scratching my head over how on earth this thing works!
From the chief toy testers
The verdict as always lies in the reaction from the girls, and it’s safe to say the Orboot has been a mega hit. As a family who tries to discourage overuse of tablets, this is one tablet game I’d be happy to let the girls indulge in, safe in the knowledge it is building a healthy interest in the world around them, and teaching them so much as they play.
Our girls are six and three, and the Orboot is aimed at children aged 4+. I think Tigs is the perfect age to explore Orboot, with her reading and geographical knowledge constantly building this is exactly the kind of toy to support her learning through play. Tigs in particular was excited to get stuck into the mystery challenges and through Shifu, travel the globe picking up nuggets of information in exchange for diamonds and coins.
The Mouse, who is approaching four also loved the Orboot with support – her little hands struggled to do the hold and focus function whilst pressing the tablet buttons, but this is something she has already enjoyed playing with together with me. The animals in particular with their funny talking voices have been the clear favourite! The guess what they eat quiz, in which the girls drag across the food and watch the creatures tucking in is such an interactive and fun part of the Orboot.
Orboot was born when one fine evening Vivek Goyal and Dinesh Advani were reminiscing their childhood and discussing the games they played outdoors and indoors, like cycling or playing hide-and-seek. In that discussion, popped up the good old globe which we all owned in our childhood and is probably biting the dust now. With their belief of making it a favorite again, they zeroed it down for the resurrection through Augmented Reality.
“A team of passionate parents, educators, technologists and adventurers, we make products for children of age 2-10 years, malleable beings in their most formative years, we have done exhaustible research and have put tremendous thought into every single detail while making the one-of-its-kind Orboot. We constantly strive to update our products regularly to attain perfection. That and the cool fact that Orboot is currently being used by kids in 60 countries around the world!”
Orboot was funded by a kickstarter project and is now available from Shifu on Amazon at £39.99.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. Includes amazon affiliate link.