One of the best things about being based here in Dubai is that there are a lot of innovative people here doing a lot of interesting things with technology. I've seen some great stuff in the field of augmented reality in particular from companies like Pixelbug and Etechan and now I can add iLike to that list.
I came across their products whilst in the Mall of the Emirates today and was struck by two things - the range they had on offer, the price (surprisingly affordable.)
Founder Issam Al Bouini states: "iLike has developed distinct functional and educational toys that merges the world online and offline which falls under 3 categories mainly 3D Wooden Puzzle, Dinosaur Egg & Excavation Kit that are fun to play with. iLike has developed a unique app using the latest technology of Augmented reality where kids will witness the Dinosaurs come to life right next to them and interact with them as well. iLike will initially distribute the products within the UAE, with future global distribution being considered."
I picked up one of the eggs today and my two girls happily tore into the thing and went about building the model dinosaurs. These were tricky but not too tough and would make a great addition to any EYFS continuous provision setup with a dino theme.
Meanwhile I downloaded the free iLike Dino app from the App Store and scanned the included trigger card for a T-Rex to see a well rendered AR dinosaur spring to life on my desk. I was then able to pull up a factfile about it, trigger some short animations and, in a similar style to the Octagon Studios 4D+ cards, steer the creature with an on-screen thumbstick!
It's a pretty nice slice of AR, though you'd need to grab multiple sets to gain access to more than one of the augmented reality models. Still - worth looking out for if you're based here in the UAE.
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