Jan 25th, 2012

If you thought manufactures weren’t sitting up in their highrises, thinking up new ways to market their products to your kids, you’d be wrong. Since it isn’t exactly legal to sell nicotine to minors (yet), Bandai has begun packaging some of their more popular line of toys (Thundercats, Ben 10) in an all new, augmented reality ready package. When viewed using your favorite smartphone, the toy inside jumps to life with sounds and lifelike movement. The results are nothing short of breath taking and just the thought of having something like this when I was a kid, fills me with pure elation. You can see it for yourself in the promo video below.

Yeah, suddenly, trips to the store became a whole lot more fun… or frustrating, depending on your kid, I suppose. In a press release, Bandai’s marketing director, Darrell Jones, said,

“The toy industry is always looking for new ways to excite customers so we are thrilled to be the first partner of this pioneering 3D technology creating 21st century window shopping. The fact that consumers can see their toys virtually and also watch them in action in the TV commercial anywhere in the world is a real first for the toy industry, and we look forward to extending the partnership across all our toys in 2012.”

The technology comes by way of Aurasma who instead of using boring old QR codes or a combination of geometric shapes, uses the image displayed on the product as the “QR code.” And it’s not just retail products or advertising, this technology really has no limits. Think about flipping over your favorite video game and using the app to watch the game’s trailer, or going to your local museum and using your phone to watch Mona Lisa talk about how she was painted.

Information Week actually did a pretty in depth interview with Matt Mills of Aurasma, who covers all the bases on exactly where the company feels augmented reality is headed. If you’re anything like me, you’ll geek out.

If you want to check out Aurasma’s app, it’s currently available free from the Android Market via the link below. What do you guys think of augmented reality? Fun way to look at toys? Or do you have any ideas on how to apply it to things outside of advertising?

[Market Link | Via Engadget]