Grover’s Block Party revolutionizes the way children play with block toys using augmented reality.
Multi-screen gaming // Sesame Street // Android
About the App
A world-first interactive multi-screen interactive app for preschoolers, Grovers Block Party sees a 3D Grover on the TV watch and move between a tablet while organically commenting and prompting – but never instructing – children as they play with physical alphabet blocks.
Sesame Workshop and Qualcomm approached us with the concept and a unique technical challenge: find a way for an intelligent 3D Grover to enhance children’s block play powered by Qualcomm’s Alljoyn connected device technology and Vuforia augmented reality platform.
Having worked with Sesame Workshop and Qualcomm the previous year on a first of its kind multi-screen experience for preschoolers using AllJoyn technology, we were beyond excited to be approached about Grover’s Block Party as the use of emerging technologies for kids’ entertainment and education is right up our alley. In addition, our skilled technical engineers who have worked across multi-screen, internet of things, augmented reality and health technology absolutely love getting their teeth into projects that require complex technology solutions that have never been tried before. The more difficult a technology challenge we throw at them, the more excited they get!
How It Works
The tablet’s front-facing camera picks up the child’s block play interaction and Grover hops down from the TV to the tablet to provide encouragement during play. Grover never instructs, only comments and prompts children based on what he sees. Sometimes animations are triggered directly on the blocks, sometimes they are between the two screens. Sometimes what a child builds will trigger traditional Sesame Street video segments. At the end of the day, despite all the magic surrounding the child, it’s all about playing with alphabet blocks.
Our team worked in close collaboration with Qualcomm, Sesame Workshop, and awesome animation company Magnetic Dreams to launch Grover’s Block Party at CES2014 where it was extremely well received by the public and industry alike. Since then it’s been showcased at conferences including SXSW Interactive, SXSW Edu, V21 (as keynote speaker) and iKids, and more recently is a finalist for Most Innovative Product at the 2015 AIMIA Awards.