OK, here is a random ambitious idea for immersive toy. I call it ToyWorld. It is a way to make ANY real-world toy come alive onscreen.
It requires a hardware accessory for a game console or PC. Imagine a plastic breadbox that is a 3D scanner (a motorized turntable, a button, and two USB webcams – COGS maybe $30). A child puts any toy inside and clicks “scan”. The toy model appears fully textured onscreen. Auto-rigging 3D software finds any limbs, puts bones in, so the plastic toy immediately starts running (slithering, flying) around a virtual world.
Child then designs the toy’s character. She clicks one of a few basic AIs: “good / bad / boss / minion.” The toy immediately starts acting like that role (e.g. attacking props, vs throwing them in the air). Child selects one of 4 generic settings: scifi, dinosaurs, barbie-style modern, medieval. A 3D environment with props (trees, buildings, paths) appears, and the toy begins running around the world, acting in character – bad guys recruit minions and take over planets…or castles, etc. Child places basic level items like gold coins, spikes, fences. The toy starts grabbing coins, avoiding spikes, running around fences.
The worlds get better, constantly. provide ever-deeper trees of AI and interactive behavior, using Minecraft’s model of constant updates. Pets appear. Weather. Aliens attack. Fires. Viking ships invade.
Players can share and play with EACH OTHER’s toys. Remotely. Angus can get Shoni’s “bad dinosaur” and stick him in his space world.
OK, it’s kind of ambitious. 🙂