In a world where kids spend over eight hours a day in front of a screen, parents need new ways to ensure that such time is interactive and educational. That’s why Osmo, the award-winning platform transforming the way kids play and learn, announces today that it is expanding to the iPhone.
Osmo iPhone and iPad Bases expands the reach of educational and fun experiences that teach lifelong skill sets with technology that naturally captivates kids’ attention. Using its proprietary Reflective Artificial Intelligence, it turns the area in front of the iPhone into a physical playspace that controls the screen. The result is a magical experience that reinvents timeless activities like drawing, storytelling and spelling.
The Osmo iPhone and iPad Base is required before purchasing any of Osmo’s games and will support the full Osmo universe of experiences, including:
Coding Awbie ($49) Introduce kids to computer science in a fun adventure where physical, Lego-like blocks of code guide a friendly monster on an adventure
Monster ($49) Osmo’s ‘Pixar studio in a Box,’ teaches storytelling and creative thinking as kids become the directors and illustrators of an animated short whose main character is a loveable monster that literally pulls drawings into his world
Masterpiece (Part of Featured Osmo Bundles) Learn to draw anything as Masterpiece turns pictures into sketchable templates; artists choose from endless drawings in Osmo’s library or snap an original photo to draw and share with family and friends
Words (Part of Featured Osmo Bundles) Practice spelling and increase vocabularies in this competitive game that has kids racing to guess what word is hidden inside a photo
Pizza Co. ($39) Run a pizza shop to practice math skills, learn financial basics and how to please customers
“Our computer vision team has been working overdrive for months to make Osmo capable of running on an iPhone – this is no small technical feat. And beyond the tech, it had to be fun; we had to ensure the same Osmo magic was still there. Together, these two things made Osmo iPhone Base one of the hardest things we’ve done.” explained Pramod Sharma, CEO and co-founder of Osmo. “But it’s such an important thing to do, because, the power of hands-on play has no limits and we should give kids as many opportunities for it as we can.”
The new Osmo iPhone Base comes on the heels of other notable achievements for the company. It was recently named one of the most innovative companies in 2017 by Fast Company and has partnered with Mattel to combine its Reflective AI with the company’s iconic American brands. The company continues to reach hundreds of thousands of households and over 22,000 classrooms globally.
The new Osmo iPhone Base is compatible with iPhone 6 and up. It is available for preorder for $29.99 at playosmo.com and Amazon.com.
My Take on Osmo Coding
Over the past week I have been trying out the new Osmo platform and coding kit. This system is one that is set up as an iPad game system that provides you with physical objects and combines this with digital play.
As with all Osmo sets, with Coding, you need to have an iPad or an iPhone 6 with a camera – I read that the iPad 2 up through the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will work. (I have a 9.7-inch and this fit the base, but I could see that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro would be too wide to fit in the base.) Speaking of this, you do have to have the Osmo base and reflector to use Coding or other such games provided by Osmo. Some of the other great sets that I found available included the Osmo Starter Kit (which also includes the components for Words, Numbers, and Tangram), the Osmo Genius Kit (which adds Osmo Numbers to the other three sets). Finally, you’ll need the Osmo Coding Kit. The apps themselves are free downloads, but they’re not useful without the peripherals. There are also some other kits like the Osmo Creative Set, and the Osmo Pizza Company Game,
In the box that you receive for coding itself you get:
- 8 Quantifier (number) tiles
- 4 Walk tiles
- 2 Hand tiles
- 1 Jump tile
- 1 Repeat tile
- 1 Magic tile
- 1 Caution tile
- 1 Play button
All of the tiles that you receive in this are magnetic so the action blocks attach to each other and even stack if you would so choose. The tiles fit nicely together whichmakes the actions that you need to follow easy to do as well.
Osmo Coding Jam uses characters and physical blocks to help children learn block-based coding through music. and play.
This latest addition to the Osmo line takes things in a musical direction. Osmo Coding Jam lets your kids use coding to create looping music.
At $59, Osmo Coding Jam isn’t the least expensive way to build music on an iPad. However, it offers amazing value both with the design and interface but also in how it integrates the wider Osmo system. Osmo is getting to have so many interchangeable parts with all of the different add-ons you can get which is even better.
My kids seemed to get this game. My oldest did not need a lot of instruction (she is almost 13) but my youngest needed some (she is 9.5). Osmo Coding Jam is recommended for kids from ages 5 to 12, so my oldest is a bit older than they recommended but she still had fun with this. I can be honest and say that even I enjoyed the game too!
I will say that Osmo Coding did a great job at bringing in fun to make cool music. Once you get into this you somewhat forget that you are learning while having fun in my opinion. I have to give Osmo Coding Jam two thumbs up in bringing together the physical and digital world as it gives kids something tangible that they can use, see and touch while learning the fundamentals of coding itself!
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