Colouring books might seem like an antiquated plaything given all the drawing and painting apps available for tablets, but learning to master a coloured pencil or crayon and stay within the lines helps develop hand-eye coordination. So instead of trying to convince kids to put down their tablets (or phones) Crayola's instead created a line of enhanced colouring books that come to life with the help of augmented reality after they have been coloured.
Once kids have coloured in a page they simply need to launch the Crayola Colour Alive! app, point it at their masterpiece, and then wait for it to come to life. The 4D augmented reality technology that powers the app was developed by a company called DAQRI, and it uses colour recognition so that no matter how unorthodox a child's colour choices might be, the 3D creatures seen on-screen will look exactly the same as the ones on paper. The books even come with a set of seven crayons including a special colour that turns into on-screen effects like fire, ice blasts, and even pixy dust.
The Colour Alive! colouring books will be available in four versions initially for $US6 each including Barbie, Skylanders, Enchanted Garden, and Mythical Creatures, but won't be hitting store shelves until January of next year. However, the Crayola Colour Alive! app is available for iOS right now, Android sometime this week, and Windows Pro Surface in January, and it lets you purchase and print an eight-page bundle of colouring sheets for just $US2 if you simply can't wait to try it out.
No word on Australian availability just let — we'll let you know as soon as we find out. [Crayola]