Augmented-reality app-cessories were the name of the game at this year's Toy Fair--from AppGear's iPad-based games to Hasbro's Lazer Tag gun. Here are the top AR products we saw on the showroom floor,
WowWee's AppGear showed off several games that combine the iPad with physical toys. Some of the line's six titles even use the world around you to construct the environment you see on your tablet. For example, in the game Alien Jailbreak, the game will create the aliens' jail on a surface within the iPad camera's field of vision, and if you move the tablet, it will alter the game-scape.
Mattel demoed the Hot Wheels game from its new Apptivity line of toys and corresponding iPad apps. Using one of the two cars included in the pack, players zoom along the racing track on their tablet's screen, performing stunts and jumping over roadblocks along the way.
Nukotoys' NUKO Cards
We saw Nukotoys' Animal Planet and Monsterology card games at CES last month, but the company was on hand at Toy Fair 2012. Its AR games let children learn about real animals or fake monsters (based on their title of choice) by choosing cards and swiping them in front of the tablet. The iPad detects the playing cards and displays information along with an animated version of the creature, which users can then control.
Discovery Bay Duo Pop
With "pop buttons" for buzzing in to beat your opponents, the Duo Pop set combines physical controllers with six iPad-based games. Ranging from trivia to word games, these titles challenge players to respond to questions faster than their opponents.
GameChanger iPad Game Board
Slip your iPad into the GameChanger board, and you have two games at your fingertips. Animal Mania and Magic School Bus are included, but other games can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store. The game board has pressure-sensitive fields that register the movements of players' tokens. The GameChanger is available online now for $59.99 to $79.99.
Hasbro Lazer Tag Blaster
Hasbro wouldn't let us take video of the iPhone/iPod touch app that makes its new Lazer Tag Blaster so cool, but we can assure you that it puts augmented reality tech to good use. You can complete missions on your own or play against up to 24 players. Either way, your device's screen is the viewfinder for targeting the red tip on opponents' guns. The Lazer Tag Blaster will be available for $39.99 ($69.99 for a set of two).