British startup SwapBots, the collectible, customisable toys and game that come to life through augmented reality will be showcasing at CES 2019. With a successful Kickstarter campaign under their belt, and early access samples shipped, the SwapBots team will be at the world’s biggest consumer tech show to present their eagerly awaited ‘connected play’ offer.
According to Juniper Research*, the smart toy space is predicted to grow by 200% over the next four years to a value of $18bn. When combined with the rise and appetite for new brands in the toy sector over recent years - the SwapBots team are now in prime position to build opportunities within this dynamic marketplace.
John Keefe co-founder of SwapBots comments, “We came up with the idea for SwapBots at a trade show back in 2015. As a studio we’d been developing immersive tech-infused products and installations projects for clients for several years - and we could see there was real scope to develop a new type of connected, playful product around augmented reality”.
Fast-track three years and SwapBots has evolved from sketches in a coffee shop, to a successful Kickstarter campaign, to being in the hands of over five hundred early adopters. The collectible toys use augmented reality to create a spectacular, interactive video game world around a physical toy. By swapping pieces of the SwapBots, the player can influence in-game attributes. The toy is ‘scanned’ by a mobile device to unlock it in the game using an advanced version of marker-based augmented reality. As the digital animation is overlaid onto the physical toy, it gives the appearance that the video game has broken out of the screen and arrived into the real world. The SwapBots toys can be assembled in hundreds of combinations, each of which results in differing in-game abilities.
John continues, “Over the last few years we’ve learnt a lot about developing a product that combines a physical and digital offer. We’ve brought experienced toy industry people onto our team, and established a fantastic manufacturing partner. We’re now looking forward to exploring further International channel opportunities and partnerships”.
Kickstarter edition toys are shipping internationally. In Spring 2019 a limited number of early access products will be released, and interest can be registered at www.swapbots.toys. SwapBots are expected to launch to the International market in early 2020.