Despite building a toy empire on interlocking plastic bricks, Lego hasn’t shied away from modern technologies. Lego’s video games have been immensely popular for years, and last year it introduced the first interactive Lego figure with Lego Super Mario. This year, the toymaker has partnered with Universal Music Group for a new mobile app that turns kids into music video producers while requiring nothing but basic brick-building skills.
Lego Vidyo centres around a new mobile app (presumably coming to both iOS and Android devices) that works alongside a new line of minifigures and new 2×2 square building elements called BeatBits that the app can visually recognise. Lego hasn’t revealed details on what Vidyo sets will actually look like, or if the figures and BeatBits pieces will be sold in blind bags like its popular minifigure collections are, but what is known is that the app will bring all of those elements together using augmented reality technology to help kids easily make their own music videos based on popular tracks in the Universal Music Group catalogue.
Once the music video’s soundtrack has been selected, kids can assemble their bands from the new lineup of Vidyo minifigures (whose digital doppelgängers can have their appearance customised later in the app) and then choose what effects they’d like to use to enhance their productions by selecting from the various BeatBits. All of those elements are then scanned into the app using a device’s camera, and the virtual Lego band can appear to perform anywhere — be it a Lego-built stage or on top of a pile of dirty socks — through augmented reality tricks.
During a live performance, the BeatBits show up as virtual buttons that can be pressed to trigger special effects like confetti showers or colour filters, or audio effects like a DJ scratching or a saxophone solo. Music videos are limited to a 60-second performance of a song during which kids can also trigger dance moves and special performances from the band, but afterwards the videos can be trimmed to 5- to 20-second clips that can then be shared with other users of app. For safety and security reasons, Lego will be moderating every video before upload and will not allow clips featuring young children or unwanted content.
The Lego Vidyo sets will be officially available starting March 1, with more details about pricing and how minifigs and BeatBits can be collected in the coming months.