When it comes to toy makers who are early adopters to new technology and adapting trends into their product line, Crayola are among the best, their strategy just seems to work time and time again. They face the battle of keeping traditional toys and activities for kids, who are excited over the introduction of tablets and many other electronic devices aimed to keep them entertained.
The world-famous crayon company have extended their product range into 3D printing allowing a 3D printer manufacturer, 3D systems, to launch Colour Alive – a platform that utilises mobile and tablet apps, photography, augmented reality and 3D printing technologies to bring children’s creations to life both digitally and in the real world.
Colour Alive colouring books allow access for adults and children to use a free iOS or Android app in conjunction with a smartphone to photograph the coloured page. Once a photograph of the page is taken, the app allows children to animate their character using augmented reality and a technology that is able to recognise a children’s choice of colours for their design.
Regardless of how a child colours their page, the app will interpret the colours and project them digitally exactly as they were drawn. There is also the option for on-screen effects that interact with the characters once they have been drawn.
Additionally, users can also have the option to send the character off to be 3D printed and delivered to their door a few days later. Using the colour recognition technology used in the augmented reality app, the full-colour 3D printed object will arrive just as it was coloured on the page.
“At Crayola, we are all about inspiring creativity through colour and innovative play experiences,” said Crayola’s CEO Mike Perry. “Children are incredibly digitally savvy and the offline experience continues to be so important because it allows kids to colour the world through their own imagination and bring it to life.”
“Colour Alive offers a truly unified creative experience that transforms the way that parents and kids think about colouring.”
The Colour Alive! app is available on iOS, Android and Windows smartphones and tablets, as well as iPod Touch. Crayola has also created a sample pdf for users to test out the app here. Colour Alive! Is currently available in four colouring books: Mythical Creatures, Enchanted Garden, Skylanders and Barbie here.