PUBLISHED ON MEDIUM
If you grew up watching Nick Jr., you already know how much of an impact interactive television shows, such as Blue’s Clues, can have on a young mind. Our children feel as if the characters on the show are actually their friends, and they quickly embrace the second-person experience, as a means for early-learning education. They become like sponges — easily engaged and encouraged by conversation. Intrigued by curiosity, they thirst for exploration. And while they quickly absorb the material and storylines presented before them, there is a huge divide between reality and storytelling that continues to leave a void out in the open.
Augmented reality is changing all of that, allowing our children to thrive at levels we have never seen before. Our children learn in different ways, and yet reading is a major part of who we become as students, educators, and professionals in our fields. We learn visually, we learn through auditorial experiences and we learn through pure immersion, completely saturated in the overall experience.
One company making a difference.
Within, a Los Angeles-based tech company, has been taking advantage of this ideal, creating exciting new platforms and highly interactive experiences in augmented, mixed and virtual reality since about 2014. Last year, they introduced a wide spectrum of learning tools that would bring interactive reading experiences into the forefront of early childhood development.
Yesterday, they announced an “Intergalactic, AR Reading Adventure Sends Kids into Space.”
As it releases its fourth augmented reality storybook, Clio’s Cosmic Quest, Within continues to embrace augmented reality when telling “extraordinary stories” to an audience of young readers. In fact, the launch of the early-learning reading app, Wonderscope, has been nothing short of a welcoming experience, as these young readers are met with a lovable character, who stops at nothing to engage their young minds while leaving a lasting impression sure to last a lifetime.
Meet Clio — a tiny particle of purple stardust — as she literally enters into our world and immediately greets your child with meaningful dialogue and an overall sense of inclusion. She includes them into the narrative and invites them to join her on a mission through our solar system. They are, then, presented with a combination of “read-out-loud” experiences, that include interactive diagrams, maps and fun facts to help them through their journey.
Students can choose to interact one-on-one or they can bring their classmates along for the journey. As a team, they join Clio in challenging reading bullies, meeting the Sun and bringing an entire nebula back together — just in the nick of time!
Real-time lessons on life.
“We’ve written lines for kids that teach them how to handle bullies, stick up for what they believe in, and be there for those that need help,” states Within’s Director of Development, Jonny Ahdout, about this rewarding new game.
The story about Clio becomes just one more addition to Wonderscope’s growing library of augmented titles, including A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, Little Red the Inventor and Wonder’s Land Ringmaster Wanted — with even more stories and adventures to be released in upcoming months.
According to a recent press release, “Wonderscope’s voice recognition system is built to understand and nurture confidence in new readers at a wide range of levels, and with different dialects and accents. The app provides visual and aural feedback by highlighting words, and having characters make eye contact and react expressively back to the user.
“Clio’s Cosmic Quest ends with a fully interactive bonus scene where users explore and learn more about space, planets and solar systems, developing a playful appreciation for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).”
Wonderscope is geared towards kids, aged 6 and older and currently holds a solid 4-star rating from Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families, through the promotion of safe technologies and media for children.
The app is currently free and available on all AR-enabled iOS devices, although stories themselves can run as high as $4.99 a piece.