Immersive Play (Immplay), a member of the Zynga co.lab accelerator, announced that it will release Aremi: The Magic of Gaia, its augmented-reality-supported magic cauldron toy, in limited quantities this holiday season, ahead of the product’s retail release in 2017. Aremi: The Magic of Gaia combines real-world toys with a mobile application, and will allow children to become wizards and create virtual potions.
Aremi: The Magic of Gaia features a real-world cauldron toy, which parents can fill with water to produce mist while their children create potions. In a recent demo with SocialTimes, Immplay co-founder and CEO Marco Carvalho compared the cauldron’s mist creation to a humidifier, making it safe for kids. The platform features more than 40 waterproof potion ingredients, which players will be able to combine in specific ways to create potions within the app.
After connecting the cauldron to their device through Bluetooth, players will use the app to select a potion to create, and they will be led through its creation. The cauldron recognizes ingredients as they’re added to the water, and it will respond by playing sounds and creating mist. Once a potion is complete, users will point their device’s camera at the cauldron to bring the potion to life within the app.
For instance, players will be able to create a dragon that appears to fly around their environment through augmented reality. Users will be able to interact with the dragon through hand movements and take pictures of the dragon to share with friends.
Other potions may encourage users to interact with others. For example, users will be able to send “get well soon” or “happy birthday” potions to their friends. Some social potions will allow users to share “resonate spells” through Facebook and other social networks, while other social potions may require more than one user to create.
Elsewhere, users will be able to create traveling potions, which will virtually transport them to another city or country. While users will be able to view their new surroundings through their device’s screen, players with a separate virtual reality headset, like the Samsung Gear VR, will also be able to experience the location through virtual reality.
Finally, Diane Fornasier, vice president of marketing at Immplay, said the company could create new potions for specific events going forward. For instance, Immplay could create a potion for disaster relief, with charitable donations being generated as players create the new potion in the app.
In addition to existing potions, users will be able to combine ingredients to form new potions and share these with the community.
Each Aremi ingredient will include its own mini-game, which can be activated by pointing the device at the ingredient. This may allow users to charge the ingredient, which will result in an enhanced potion when the ingredient is used in a recipe.
The dragon wand pack includes different ingredients than the flower wand pack, so users can purchase both packs to receive all eight ingredients. Finally, users can purchase the cauldron pack and their choice of the dragon or flower wand pack in a bundle for $129.
After the product is delivered to backers in December 2016, Immplay will release new content for these users to experience each month ahead of the full launch.
We’re really building (Aremi) as a way for kids to learn to become social, and also for them to be immersed in a universe where magic is real—where what you see on Harry Potter movies can be reality—that you can really make that happen.
By working with Zynga, Carvalho said Immplay has learned not only about creating social games, but also about adding educational content to the world of Aremi:
We saw that toys have a much bigger value on the educational side—not only teaching curriculum activities—but when we have products like this that are really entertaining and with great depth, we can teach without kids realizing. They will learn—they will do math, they will research the ingredients thinking that this is really fun, and they’re learning without even noticing.
Aremi: The Magic of Gaia will support iOS, Android and Kindle devices. Users won’t be required to purchase the real-world toy(s) to experience Aremi, as they will be able to download the free app, and purchase potion ingredients via in-app purchase.
Readers: Are you interested in trying Aremi: The Magic of Gaia?