The "toys to life" craze has been noted as a big push in technological toys, but Microsoft's Project Zanzibar is looking to take it a step further with its prototype playmat. While toys like Amiibos and Skylanders require built-in tech and are often proprietary, the Project Zanzibar playmat can scan everyday items and create a digital version of them. In addition to reading any item, the mat can also detect the placement on the mat, which could prove interesting as a tool for interacting with video games.
The importance of Project Zanzibar stretches beyond its ability as a novelty item, as the system could inherently be used as a form of edutainment. The mat and its digital rendering abilities could see use in modeling and could be integrated with educational platforms regarding architecture, modeling and civic planning. While Project Zanzibar is quite a ways away from being a consumer product, the team at Microsoft will be showing off the tech at the ACM CHI Conference in Montreal.
Image Credit: Microsoft