Why it is still important to have physical toys to play with when virtual video games are so good already?
No doubt video games have exceeded people’s expectations over the last decades. The quality of the graphics has increased exponentially since the early days. Does that mean people’s gaming experience has also grown exponentially as well? Not quite right? Why is that? If you think about the first popular video games like “Mario” and “Street Fighter,” compared to what we have today, the graphics have improved, but are the games way more fun? Sure there is a correlation between better graphics and a better experience, but they may not track 1 to 1. This made us think: How can we make games that don’t use graphics as the main metric for improvement of fun? Other than graphics booming, it doesn’t seem like the variety of the games has expanded much since video games were introduced in the 80s.
So how do humans normally play before video games were invented? Young children mostly just go out with other friends. The fun and memorable experiences and moments were not just limited to the game itself: the environment, friends, interactive eye, hand, and body movement, and imagination also played a big part in household “play” activities.
Because the video games’ graphics are so good, it might limit what we can imagine. Because most video games are sedentary, the eye-hand coordination is almost completely missing. This is where we come in. We know people need to have fun with friends in person. We know people need to move around without heavy equipment or wires with today's VR/AR headsets. People should be able to play in the house or outdoors - how nature intended us to play.
When I was a kid, I always wanted to play games face-to-face with my friends. My favorites were AirSoft, Paintball, and board games. I craved human interaction and competition. But they weren’t always around. I wished my robot toys like Furby could have played Airsoft or board games with me when my friends were not around. But the toys weren’t capable of doing so back then, and not even today (before Juuk). When will we have smart hardware at a low cost? Even if we have good hardware, why would we neglect the world around us? Something must be missing right?
We don’t have to choose between the virtual world or the real world. Having the best of both worlds is the ideal situation. And that's what we’re doing. Using smart hardware to build the link between the virtual and real world. There is something magical about an item that you can physically hold, and use in the real world, yet is enhanced with digital characters. We accomplish this by leveraging the computing power of the phone, and focusing on building fun game applications that are intuitive, interactive and fun.