Traditional playsets on a playground is a thing of the past. Modern technology allows for a broad spectrum of new and exciting possibilities. But what is interactive play exactly, and do we even need it?
Why interactive play?
At Yalp, we see interactive play as the interface between the digital and the real world. ‘Gaming in the physical world.’ The gaming world offers imagination, learning, fun, variety, the excitement of reaching the next level, and the possibility to adapt levels to an individual player. The physical world brings physical activity, social interaction, community involvement, and the rewarding feeling of being outdoors. Combining both really brings our development to the next level. We consider interactive play the ‘best of both worlds.’
The Yalp Sona |
The Yalp Memo|
The Yalp Sutu |
The Yalp Toro |
The Yalp Fono |
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 Sona interactive dance and play arch, we could tailor games to trends like Idols and Dance Revolution. And because we can develop new games or audio samples and update them to all of our existing locations, we can go along with critical yearly events or societal themes. We currently customize our Memo activity set games to include a wide variety of STEAM games or history quizzes. We educate users on cultural integration, healthy nutrition, or 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 explicitly set for the more mature adults. As a result, our dance arch Sona is 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 that our interactives are being used extensively. Over the last decade, this has proven to be tremendously valuable. Not only to show a social return on investment but also to further develop our products. We can see what works and what doesn’t, and not only with the types of games or features, but also in case of maintenance problems. We can reboot the system or calibrate the sensors or cameras remotely, without having to fly installers all over the world. Naturally, physical parts have to replaced from time to time. Our experience over the last decade has taught us that the maintenance of 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 relatively new concept in many countries across the world. As the global leader in the interactive play industry, we think the interactive play is more than pure electronic play and being able to generate sounds 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 hang around. To us, interactive play is so much more than that. It is not a basic reaction to a particular activity. Two-way information flow is critical to interactive play. Being able to experience the excitement of reaching higher levels, exceeding your limits, continuously getting new game updates, customizing content, looking at user statistics, and doing maintenance and settings remotely.
We are even taking it to the next level. After setting a score on one of our interactives, users can claim their score in the Yalp+ app. Please keep in 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 competitions. Interactive play can contribute to making your playground into a destination playground.
The most important thing is that children can play outside in a modern way! The children are already very enthusiastic.
Where would you incorporate interactive play?
Interactive play can truly complement traditional play. Adding a high tech iconic landmark with interactive play capabilities can really enrich your existing traditional playground. Our interactives are often used to renovate older sites. However, have you ever thought about creating something completely unique by designing a complete interactive playground with multiple interactives? A playground of the future (even though the future is now).
Maybe even more interestingly, interactives can be used in places you would not typically expect a playground. Because our interactive sports and play equipment have a small footprint so they can also be put in more informal spaces or small urban lots. A Sona dance arch requires a smaller footprint than a regular swing. They don’t have to be in a park or on a schoolyard, we have great examples of installations in front of city halls, retail areas, or rooftops.
Benefits of interactive play
- It stimulates social interaction
- Encourages kids to explore
- Good for skill development
- Encourages kids to be creative
- It is always fun
Interactive sports and play equipment
Discover all of our interactive playsets!