Lego’s latest take on tech finds a way to bring music to imagination with a little help of augmented reality.
Toys clearly have changed over the years, and while kids still play with plastic pieces, the way a phone and tablet and video game console have impacted what they play with is clearly evident, too. There’s a big number of things children can play with it, be it something just for fun or something to let them do some learning with edutainment, too.
But the fun thing is still the main reason kids turn to toys, and we’re seeing changes that involve technology there, too. Even everyone’s love of Lego is making its way to the digital world of sorts, beyond the world of coding with its buildable block toys, as Lego and Universal Music look set to team up for a dose of AR and social, as the two concepts come together in a new Lego, Lego Vidiyo.
It’s a little like Tik Tok for kids, and yet with a dose of augmented realty, as Lego looks set to release a social media app focused on kids 7 to 10, connecting music and video to imagination and toys, animated with the help of phones.
To make this work, Lego is releasing new plastic tiles called “BeatBits” that unlock digital effects, which can animate new Lego mini figs (the little people in the Lego world), making them do different things such as jump, dance, and more. It’s a combination that people will be able to use in their own creations of Lego, almost as if they were filming their own Lego short film, except using their phone.
It’s a new take on augmented reality, as physical toys become digital creations with the help of gadget and imagination, and there’s a little more.
Lego’s Vidiyo app will also be able to scan a room or setting to integrate those mini figs and effects, and then load in music from Universal Music, basically allowing the characters and effects triggered by the BeatBit tiles to make the short movies, shareable in 5, 10, 15, or 20 second clips, which could also be music videos, albeit short videos, at that. Some of the triggered effects include sax solos, breakdancing, confetti showers, and more, happening digitally through an app on either Android or iOS as the phone’s camera picks up on the special AR-enabled toy in real life.
“We want to feed the imagination of the next generation of creatives, providing a new canvas for kids to creatively express themselves,” said Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer, for the Lego Group.
“We know children are always chasing new ways to experiment creatively, and Lego Vidiyo is here to help all kids with a passion for music unleash their creativity through Lego building and music video production,” she said. “We can’t wait to see what they come up with!”
While Lego Vidiyo will need the new Vidiyo BeatBits tiles and special Vidiyo mini figs to animate, the short videos can be filmed with Lego blocks old and new. Don’t expect to animate using the old blocks, because that may not work, with animations only applying to the new Vidiyo ones engineered specifically for the purpose. However it will work with blocks set out as a background, effectively turning other Lego elements (or any other part of a room) into a prop.
Lego’s Australian arm hasn’t said how much these will cost, and our guess is much like other Lego packs, it’ll be something where you pay for a few blocks in a little pack and then have to collect the rest. However it has said when they’re coming, with a release date for Lego Vidiyo around the world from March 1. Lego’s Aussie arm says Lego Vidiyo will be available “in most countries around the world” from March 1, so we’re guessing that means Australia, too.