Nov 14, 2011

PBS Kids announces first "augmented reality" educational app

Children now have their own "augmented reality" educational mobile app from PBS Kids. The Fetch! Lunch Rush App was created by WGBH in Boston and is based on its PBS Kids Go! series, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman.

“Augmented reality is becoming a popular marketing tool and a compelling feature for gamers, but no one has fully explored what this could mean for educating children,” said Jason Seiken, PBS's s.v.p., interactive, product development and innovation, in a statement.

Augmented reality blends a physical, real-world view with computer-generated sensory input including sounds, video or electronic graphics.

In the app, star Ruff Ruffman takes the lunch order for his studio crew. The challenge for players is to keep track of how many pieces of sushi everyone wants. The app uses 3-D imagery "to reinforce the early algebraic concepts, helping kids to make the connection between real objects and corresponding numeric symbols," PBS said in a statement.

The FETCH! Lunch Rush App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone or iPod touch. It was developed with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

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