November 15, 2013

Technicolor Takes on Smart Toys

After Conquering the Smart Home, Technicolor Takes on Smart Toys.

As a world-renowned leader in smart home solutions, Technicolor knows how to make the different devices in your home “talk” to one another. Thanks to Connected Home innovations, your TV will be connected to your intercom, you will receive alerts on your mobile regarding your home energy consumption, you will even be able to turn on your living room heating just before leaving the office.  But what about that plush toy that your child is cuddled up to while watching their favorite cartoon? Now, with newly patented technology from Technicolor, that toy can talk to your TV, smart phone and tablet.

Owing to a collaboration between our Los Angeles Animation team and Hannover’s Research & Innovation, Technicolor presented a a totally new innovation at the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse, France, in late September: Audio Sync for Toys. Featuring Technicolor Animation’s recently developed pre-school TV series Chamelia, Audio Sync for Toys was demonstrated before a large number of broadcasters from across the globe. 

The demo consists of an animated teaser of Chamelia playing on any companion device (TV, mobile phone, tablet). As the teaser unfolds, a Chamelia doll in the room begins to cheer, giggle, and sigh with what is happening on screen, and towards the end of the demo the doll actually sings in perfect sync with a song played in the teaser. As soon as the doll begins to sing, an app on another local mobile device automatically unlocks a full version of that song which can then be replayed at any time. The concept compels the viewer to collect songs (or any number of types of unlockable content) only by engaging with the primary animated media.

Audio Sync for Toys (or Content-to-Toy) allows toys equipped with audio watermark technology to interact and synchronize with on-screen content. Simply put, the plush toy on the couch is able to wirelessly interact with the audio coming from the cartoon on screen. The technology works with any AV source and does not require a Wifi or Bluetooth connection, so the toy is ready to interact with the on-screen content right out of the box. There are currently no other products in the toy market that offer these solutions, which once again puts Technicolor technology on the forefront of innovation, this time targeting interactive toys.