The XR company’s CEO talks with ARPost about “AR edutainment” – in and out of crisis.
Educational XR company DEVAR is rising to the challenge. Well before the pandemic, DEVAR was making educational XR books and toys for children.
“People increasingly realize the potential of the technology, and DEVAR helps to entertain and educate children amid the coronavirus outbreak,” said a press release shared with ARPost.
When the XR company announced a 200% increase in demand between February 1 and April 1, we talked with CEO Anna Belova. We didn’t just talk about sales during the stay-at-home period, but about XR for education when we return to our normal lives.
“Augmented reality is changing the world. It’s a technology of the current generation. Keeping this in mind, we started with the children’s segment, creating a product that speaks in the language that digital natives know best,” Belova said in an email. “We made DEVAR an intelligent assistant in children’s development. Kids use DEVAR to interact with physical objects around them – books and toys, both at home and at school using augmented reality technologies.”
Long before the plague, education was one of the most important and exciting fields in XR. Even if it isn’t (always) as fun as gaming or as industrial as enterprise solutions.
“Augmented reality uses simultaneously all three ways of perceiving information: audio, visual, and kinesthetic. This allows you to study subjects faster and better, regardless of which way of perception you are prone to,” said Belova.
It Was the Best of Times…
DEVAR has been around for a while now. We even included books by the XR company in our 2019 holiday gift guide.
“DEVAR is an educational and entertaining content platform for kids and family that combines traditional objects surrounding kids in their everyday life (toys, books, other products) with digital content in the form of AR characters and educational courses or tasks,” said Belova.
Some of the XR company’s books feature popular children’s titles like My Little Pony and they’re partnered with entertainment giants like Nickelodeon and Hasbro.
“Our story with children’s products began when we saw the emotions of children from characters which come to life in their colors. It was a miracle, magic that caused sincere joy,” said Belova. “Over the years of working with children’s products, we have seen how augmented reality makes the product truly useful for the digital natives.”
The XR company also features educational content on topics ranging from human anatomy, to astronomy, to biology and the environment. There’s even a link on their site for educators looking to use DEVAR products in their classrooms.
“Augmented reality allows teachers to demonstrate even the most complicated subjects in a visual and comprehensible way. AR enables users to experience scientific phenomena that are not possible in the real world, such as certain chemical reactions, making inaccessible subject matter available to students,” said Belova. “The immersive nature of augmented reality activities and their interactivity encourage students to engage in learning activities and improve student motivation to learn.”
It Was the Worst of Times…
While AR education had its strengths before the pandemic, with children learning at home – and dealing with many of the same stresses as the rest of us – it has even more advantages.
“Augmented reality activities give children a wow experience, reducing their stress level and entertaining them during the quarantine period,” said Belova. “Staying home doesn’t mean that students should stop learning, so why not engage them with educational AR games… Augmented reality portals allow kids to visit distant places of the world and learn about their history without going outside.”
What’s Next for DEVAR?
So, what comes next?
Many have speculated that today’s increased use of extended reality for remote education and learning is here to stay. Many XR companies are scrambling to increase production or release new products. According to Belova, it’s business as usual at DEVAR.
“We always launch new products,” said Belova.
That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to look forward to. Soon the XR company will be releasing “a new training format” in which an AR character companion interacts with learners to help them approach new content.