Monday, November 14, 2011

PBS KIDS, WGBH, launches augmented reality app for iPhone, iPod touch based on FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman

Launched today into the App Store, PBS KIDS has launched its first augmented reality app for the iPhone and iPod touch, FETCH! LUNCH RUSH, based on the WGBH produced television series FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman.
The new app is free to download and play. To get started the players need to get a PDF of game pieces that will need to be printed out – I would strongly recommend that kids get a little assistance from their parents to handle the download and printing, unless their kids are as tech savvy as many are. The game pieces can be found on the PBS KIDS site (here), or the PDF can be emailed to you if you supply your email address within the app.

“The FETCH! Lunch Rush App is designed as a 3-D game, which helps kids visualize the math problems they are trying to solve,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS in the app annuncement. “At PBS KIDS our goal is to use media to nurture kids’ natural curiosity and inspire them to explore the world around them; we can’t wait to see what this new app will mean for furthering that exploration.”

In the game, players make Ruff Ruffman colelct the lunch order for his studio crew. The goal is to keep track the order – for sushi, believe it or not – using the printed PDF "markets" and the devices camera within the game.

“Augmented reality is becoming a popular marketing tool and a compelling feature for gamers, but no one has fully explored what this could mean for educating children,” said Jason Seiken, Senior Vice President, Interactive, Product Development and Innovation, PBS. “We were among the first to offer educational augmented reality kids content when we launched the DINOSAUR TRAIN Hatching Party online game last year, in which a player’s real world intersects with a virtual environment online to help hatch a dinosaur egg. We’re excited to expand our exploration of this space by launching our first augmented reality mobile app and continue PBS KIDS’s leadership in using new technologies to further learning.”