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2.2 Analyses and Discussions

The human-computer interaction toys can be classified into two types. The first type is mobile device combined with Augmented Reality. Another one is physical toy communication with mobile device. We discuss and analyze two types below.

Interactive Mobile Device and Augmented Reality

Use the camera on mobile device to recognize target and generate 3D models on the screen. Augmented reality has for years been one of the focuses in mobile phone application development, ranging from mere interaction to marketing, games, navigation, and so on. The highly interactive nature of augmented reality with its user has given rise to various augmented reality applications for mobile phones.

With Hoops AR [12], user simply views the ticket using a mobile device, and then the basketball ticket turns into an interactive basketball game. By using user's finger to shoot the basketball to control the speed of the shot. An iPad app, Barbie Digital Mirror [13] uses augmented reality to let kids try on makeup. When user looks in the interactive mirror, user dips a make-up tool into pretend makeup, and it appears on her face. The iButterfly [14] app generates a butterfly on the screen combining AR with Global Positioning System (GPS) information, and then user can catch butterfly which becomes a coupon. Popar [15] Toys uses Augmented Reality technology to create an immersive reading experience. It is designed to change the way users interact and experience stories, adventures, and learning. Table 1 shows a comparisons of various AR software.

Interactive Toys and Mobile Device

It generates different experiences by interactive toys and mobile device using sensor on mobile device connected to toys and interacting with each other.

The first type is mobile device connected with toy via Bluetooth, Infrared Module, Wireless, and so on by using mobile device for remote control. User can control toys through mobile device remotely when the connection is successful. Helicopter and remote-control car use this type. Table 2 shows comparisons of various toys combined with mobile software.

The second type uses toys to control game. Apptivity [16] action games include toys and an iPad app. The iPad recognizes the toy thanks to Mattel's patented “Active Touch” technology when kids use the physical toys to play the app game. The Apptivity action games will include several popular themes such as Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds, and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. Adding different shapes of touch points to toy's bottom to achieve recognition. It recognizes shapes and triggers the corresponding event by touching the toy on iPad.

Augmented reality interactions have been classified into three categories. The first category uses computer and webcam to identify the specified tag. The disadvantage is lack of mobility in this method. The second category is a popular method in recent years. This method uses mobile device and camera to identify the specified tag, then generates 3D models on the screen. A user clicks on the touch screen to interact with digital content on the mobile device. The advantage is more mobility in this method. However the real interaction experiences are not enough. The third category is similar to the second category, but it provides more realistic experiences. Through augmented reality detection effect, user directly uses fingers to interact with digital content in a real environment. Table 3 shows a comparison of augmented reality interactions.

Table 1. Comparisons of Various AR Software



AR Drone [17]

The effect of the AR and play against other players.

Need to buy expensive AR Drone aircraft.

Word Lens [18]

Simple and practical translation software can be used without Internet.

Four translation languages (English, Italian, French, and Spanish) are too few.

iButterfly [14]

Butterfly shape combined with advertising, marketing effect by capturing various butterflies.

Single marketing function, low user viscosity.

Hoops AR [12]

A basketball court for the mark, to enhance game play.

Need to prepare a mark for the game.

Layar [19]

Intuitive navigation screen.

Need to turn on the camera and Internet connection to use navigation, consume much electricity.

Table 2. Comparisons of Various Devices Combined with Mobile Software

Mobile Device


AR Drone [17]

Bluetooth: Mobile device connects with toy via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth: Receive mobile device's signal to control toy.

RoboMe [20]

Microphone: voice command recognition, and remote video control.

Camera: Face detection and tracking

User will be able to change the face that appears on the screen and the voice to different accents.

Apptivity [16]

The iPad recognizes the toy thanks to Mattel's patented “Active Touch” technology.

Touch point with different shapes at toy bottom.

Table 2. (Continued)

Silverlit R/C Car [21]

Bluetooth: Mobile device connects with toy via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth: Receive mobile device's signal to control toy.

Silverlit helicopter [21]

Table 3. Comparison of Augmented Reality Interactions

Illustration pictures


Virtual button of AR [9]

Through setting the virtual buttons on the marker, when virtual button occlusion is detected, our system triggers corresponding event.

Popular augmented reality on the mobile device.

A user clicks on the touch screen to interact with digital content on the mobile device.

Augmented reality on an early computer

Webcam identification of the main tag. Users also need to use other specified tag to interact with digital content.

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