Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has launched the world’s first interactive Smart TV apps designed specifically for children. The newly released apps allow kids to interact with content on the TV using motion control, virtual mirroring and mobile device connections, for a completely immersive experience geared toward education, development and entertainment.
The six new apps titled ‘Playing Nado Hutos, Sticker Theater, Gingerbread Man, Three Little Pigs, Kindergarten and ‘Best Kids Song’ are available immediately to Samsung Smart TV users worldwide. Samsung also plans to double the amount of kids-focused Smart TV content by the end of the year.
“Over the past several years, Samsung has focused on offering consumers more intuitive ways to control and interact with their televisions,” said Kyung-shik Lee, vice president of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics. “These innovations have made Smart TV even more accessible for young children in particular, who may not be used to using a remote control.”
One of the new kids-focused apps incorporates Samsung’s Smart Interaction functionality, which allows users to control the TV through voice and gesture. In ‘Playing Nado Hutos,’ children can interact with a character named Hutos by moving their hands in front of the screen. Kids can tickle or pet Hutos, or spur him to interact with various objects within the game; the character reacts in different ways, depending on the gesture. The app also offers an on-demand video telling Hutos’ story, for a stronger emotional bond with the character.
Reflecting the increasing convergence of TVs and mobile devices, three of Samsung’s new TV apps ‘Sticker Theater,’ ‘Gingerbread Man’ and Three Little Pigs offer additional functionality when used with an accompanying mobile app, which parents can download via Samsung Apps or Google Play. For example, with ‘Sticker Theater’ kids can exercise their creativity by producing their own movies. The user can select a scene, place and characters, then record dialogue through a mobile device. These stories can be saved and played back on the TV at any time through Samsung’s Smart Hub.
Samsung’s virtual mirroring service is available on both the ‘Kindergarten’ and ‘Best Kids Song’ apps, allowing children to truly become part of the action. Using the Smart TV’s built-in camera, virtual mirroring allows users to watch their own movements in real-time. ‘Kindergarten’ teaches vocabulary in a fun way by incorporating dance movements for each word; as the game character dances on the left of the TV, kids can watch their own dance moves on the right side of the screen. Similarly, kids can sing and dance along to classic children’s songs in ‘Best Kids Song.’
Samsung currently offers about 90 popular Smart TV apps for children, including ‘Pororo’ and ‘Canimals.’ The company plans to offer an additional 90 kids apps by the end of 2012, including video-on-demand content, quiz games, language learning apps and children’s stories.