Today we travel the world! No, I don’t mean literally; I mean via augmented reality, or AR. And that’s because today I’m reviewing the Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Globe, which is one of this year’s hottest educational toys for kids with dreams of seeing and experiencing the world. If your child is curious and loves learning about maps, landmarks, great food, different cultures, cool inventions, and unique animals—the 6 learning categories that this globe covers, they’re sure to want to have their Orboot passport stamped. Just keep on reading for all the fun details!
But before you venture too far into the journey, please take a couple of minutes to view my brief video overview of the Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Globe. In it I show the globe and all of its accessories up close, discuss and show footage from within the Orboot App, and let you know my general thoughts on the product (hint: I like it):
Shifu Orboot AR Globe features
The Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Globe is fun! I’ve been discovering interesting facts and learning about all its cool features over the past couple of weeks, and I can assure you that there’s lots going on with this globe. Suitable for kids ages 4 and up, this globe has over 1000 facts and 400+ fun and educational highlights spanning the 6 learning categories I mentioned above (cuisine, cultures, monuments, inventions, maps, and animals). It does this mostly by connecting to the Orboot App, which allows kids to scan the various symbols and icons on the globe to unleash all kinds of useful and interesting content. In fact, much of this content comes to life in augmented reality, literally jumping off the globe in a 3-dimensional manner via your smart phone’s screen. It’s a very cool thing to see, and it makes you want to see more, and thus learn more.
Also available within the app are games and activities such as a scavenger hunt that kids can go on in search of clues that will take them right around the world. The app starts out with five different options: Explore in AR, Tour, Oko Park, Quiz Wiz, and Mysteries. Each of these play patterns allows kids to engage with the globe (and sometimes even without it) in different ways. For instance, the Tour feature allows them to see a virtual globe within the app and zoom in to different areas of the world to learn all about the animals that live in various places. Alternatively, the Quiz Wiz feature tests the knowledge kids have acquired throughout their explorations with fun, interactive, multiple choice questions. And as your child progresses in their learning, you can even set it up in the app so that you, as the parent, will receive e-mail notifications regarding their progress.
Setup & play
The Orboot Earth Augmented Reality Globe is really easy to set up and get started with. In fact, the globe itself requires nothing more than taking it out of the box and placing it wherever you like. The rest of the setup process is simply about downloading and installing the free Orboot App and getting your account established, all of which takes only seconds to complete. After that, you can begin playing with the globe using the various features within the app. The only other step I encountered was when the app asked me for my child’s name and my e-mail address for receiving the progress reports. As I don’t have kids yet, I just used a made up name: Hugo, and my own e-mail address.
Playing with the globe was great fun! In the Explore in AR feature, you’re asked to hold your phone over any of the various star icons that are situated all over the map. When you settle on a particular star, the region around it springs to life with various AR animals and other highlights. At this point you can choose which animal or other theme you’d like to explore, and the app starts telling you all about that thing. It’s really a lot of fun, and you learn some interesting facts that will come in handy later when you engage with the Quiz Wiz feature. In yet another game in the app—Oko Park, kids have the chance to build and maintain their own national park. It’s very fun and educational.
But possibly the coolest feature within the Orboot App is the Mysteries feature, wherein you get to play the part of a detective and solve intriguing mysteries that involve traveling the world (virtually) to unlock all the necessary clues and secrets. As you go from place to place and clue to clue, the app will lead you to highlight different parts of the globe to show you’re “getting” the clues. You do this by using your smart phone’s camera to hone in on the place or icon that the clue is leading you to. Of course, you’re also learning as you go—and having a lot of fun!
One of the coolest aspects of the Orboot AR Globe is the fact that it comes with some really fun accessories. I already showed the opened passport book above, but shown at left is what it looks like when closed. Also included with the globe are an ink stamp with which to stamp your passport and a little sticker book with several national flags to stick in your passport as though they were visas. It really adds to the play value of the set to be able to do fun little things like that, and I expect that kids will simply love it. One warning, however: there were only 2 passport books, one in English and one in French. If you have more than 2 kids, or even if you have 2 that both want a book in the same language, you may have to figure something out.
I like the Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Globe. It’s got a multitude of fun features that are also both interesting and educational, and there are enough features, games, quizzes, and more to keep kids entertained for hours. If you have a curious child in the 4-10 (or so) age range, you probably can’t go wrong with the Orboot AR Globe. It’s a winner!
For more smart and educational toys, visit Best Buy today and explore their vast supply!