Interactive playground for the new generation
Interactive play is a lot of fun, not only for the ‘new generation’, but also for adults. Rapid developments in technology continuously create new opportunities. Back in 2007 when we first started interactive play with our Dance Arch Sona, we could tailor games to trends like Idols and Dance Revolution. Because we are able to develop new games or audio samples and update them to all of our existing locations, we can go along with important yearly events or societal themes. Currently, we for example customize our Memo activity set games to include a broad variety of STEAM games of history quizzes. We educate users on cultural integration, healthy nutrition or play a ‘scary’ Moon monster game on the Sona around Halloween. We can even fully customize a game set to specific demographics or ages, like we did for the Sona when developing a game set specifically for the more mature adults. As a result, our dance arch Sona is being used in several retirement homes and senior living communities.
Besides being able to adapt our play opportunities, we are also monitoring user statistics. We know for a fact athat our interactives are being used extensively. Over the last decade, this has proven to be tremendously important. Not only to show a social return on investment but also to further develop our products. We are able to see what works and what doesn’t. Not only in terms of type of games or features, but also in case of maintenance problems. We can reboot the system or calibrate the sensors or camera’s remotely, without having to fly installers all over the world. Naturally, physical parts have to replaced from time to time, but our experience over the last decade has learned that the maintenance on our interactive play products is much less compared to our traditional equipment. Both because we carefully select our components based on durability, but also because we hardly have any moving parts and therefore less wear and tear.
What is interactive play?
Everyone thinks it is relatively new, but our first interactive products were developed in 2006, so we have over a decade of experience. Nevertheless, it is a fairly new concept to many countries across the globe. As the front leader on interactive play in the industry, we think interactive play is much more than simple electronic play and being able to generate a sound or light. Of course children can be stimulated when they suddenly hear a bird chirping after stepping onto a platform or by chasing light patterns that appear on tiles, but typically it won’t make children loose sense of time. To us interactive play is so much more than that. It is not a basic reaction to a certain activity. A two-way information flow is critical to interactive play. Being able to experience the excitement of reaching higher levels, to exceed your limits, to continuously get new game updates, to customize content, to look at user statistics and to do maintenance and settings remotely.
We are even taking it to a next level. After setting a score on our interactive ball wall Sutu, users can choose to use our free Yalp Sutu app. Please mind, this is just an extra play feature, the app doesn’t have to be used. But it allows players to claim their score, enter the worldwide Sutu competition, set up their own competitions, earn all kinds of badges, invite their friends and share their score on social media. And that is not all. If you allow the app, it will even send you push messages. So imagine sitting on your couch at home watching TV after you have claimed sixty two miles per hour with the Speed Sutu game and suddenly receiving a message. ‘Your best friend has just beaten your high score’. Interactive play probably won’t result in people no longer watching TV, but does a message like that make you want to go back to the park again? We hope interactive play can contribute into making your playground into a destination playground.