SpinTales takes storytelling to an enchanting level. With a duvet that immerses the child into an augmented reality experience and a rug that takes interactivity to another level, this product is a game changer indeed!
Narendra Ghate, Chief Designer Research, Service Design & User Experience Design, Tata Elxsi chats with Bookedforlife about this fascinating concept.
The concept of using augmented reality on fabric is interesting. Can you talk about the genesis of the concept?
Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality are some of the futuristic technologies, which several industries are adopting. Welspun – one of the largest home textile manufacturers is one of the forerunners to adopt the augmented reality technology in textiles.
Welspun had a vision to launch smart textiles for storytelling for children. The idea was to make home textiles more than just an upholstery, and make it more immersive and engaging for kids. Tata Elxsi was a preferred design and technology partner of choice for Welspun. We helped Welspun to envision their idea to reality.
The Duvet and Rug are interactive and innovative textiles for kids, age three and up. The experience is uniquely interactive for both children and parents, with a focus on multi-dimensional storytelling, educational activities, and Augmented Reality. It is an experience that kids love.
By scanning the specified markers on the rug or duvet (using a tablet or smartphone), children can view characters in Augmented Reality. It feels like you are part of their world and you learn a bit more about the world they live in. SpinTales is the first of many experiences that is introduced and launched by TILT.
Right now, the story options offered are Little Red, Three Little Pigs, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Any plans to increase the number of stories?
The above-mentioned stories are available in the interactive duvet. In the interactive rug, one will find jungle themed stories. Currently, three different stories are available in the rug and the duvet. The number of stories are expected to be added soon.
How do the activities in the duvet and the rug differ?
The activities are based on the stories, which are similar in nature. The duvet for instance has activities like Little Red Riding Hood baking cookies. In the Jungle Rug you will have this character Milo making fruit juices. The difference is mostly in terms of ergonomics.
While playing with the rug, the child will be standing, but while using the duvet kids would be mostly lying down on the bed with the duvet covered on them. Hence, from a design aspect we had to consider the height from where the duvet / rug is accessed. This is to ensure that the markers are detected when the tablet / smart phone is pointed at the rug / duvet.
Coming to some practical questions: any special maintenance requirements for the fabric or can it be washed normally?
Users need to follow the washing instructions as specified by the brand – TILT.
Most parents nowadays try and keep kids off gadgets, especially at bedtime. How do you feel this product actually enhances their experience with technology, without bringing in its side effects?
SpinTales is targeted for both playtime and bedtime. Instead of being a purely digital product, SpinTales connects the screen experience with physical activity.
To experience the beauty of Augmented Reality technology, one needs to move around. This is gives users to not just involve in physical activities, but to also enjoy the benefits of digital technology.
In addition, there are specific games, which encourages users to get involved in more physical activities and exercises. For instance, there is a game called ‘Frog and the Yoga poses’ which will encourage kids to emulate the yoga postures done by the frog. Also there is an Augmented Reality game where kids need to collect flowers by walking around on the rug.
Are there updates to the app since beyond a point children may get bored with the same activities?
Yes. The plan is to add more stories with fresh content and new activities. The app will be the same but the content will be upgraded. For instance, there might be bonus chapters in future for Christmas and Easter etc.
How has the response been to this product in the Indian market? Can you share any experiences or customer feedback?
The feedback for SpinTales has been amazing and has been well received from both parents and their kids alike. SpinTales was initially launched for the US markets but it is also now available in India in stores namely Hamleys and Home Centre.
SpinTales has brought an innovative concept to merge the worlds of storytelling and technology. Time will take the magic to new heights!