Disney augments coloring books

There were no doubts about the fact that Disney understood the potentialities of augmented reality: here on Experenti’s blog we talked already about their new projects related to this technology, e.g. the collaboration with Hasbro for the development of the line of toy accessories Playmation and the creation of Star Wars official app.

Now Disney returns to the children world with a project that will be very appreciated also from moms and dads; ask yourself which is one of the most loved activity by your children and you’ll be close enough to what we are talking about: say goodbye to felt tips stains on their clothes or drawings on the walls, because the revolution of coloring books is near!

Disney’s project has been presented on 29th September at the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality by the Research & Development team stationed in Zurich; it doesn’t have a name yet, but it was possible to see it in action…and it was awesome!

Thanks to a software based on Unity game engine and to the mobile app available for iOS and Android, looking through a tablet or smartphone display, it will be possible to see our character come to life while we color it, with the hues we choose. Pretty a revolution in the world of children’s creativity, isn’t it? Also a way to give a good use to the mobile devices that every day are used more even from the youngest ones.

This isn’t the first project that tries to merge augmented reality and coloring books: earlier there has been the experience of Color Alive series, a collaboration between Crayola and the AR developers DAQRI; however this project was different, since it was possible to augment the drawing once it was finished, not while coloring it.

Augmented reality is used day after day in always more fields, from the industrial to the recreational ones. Today we talk about the first course for kindergarten and elementary school children that has been created in the world: the name is Learning Alive and it was created by Kaplan Early Learning, a company based in North Carolina that provides products and services that enhance children’s learning, in collaboration with Alive Studios, enterprise that has the mission to create offers helping children being engaged in math and reading learning.

Learning Alive is a suite made of three programs/courses, Letters alive®, Storybooks alive® and Math alive®, to learn math and reading in an interactive and fun way thanks to augmented reality.

“Augmented reality is similar to your typical 3-D experience, but it doesn’t require the use of special glasses or tools,” says Travis Williams, Elementary Merchandiser at Kaplan Early Learning Company. “While augmented reality is becoming more and more popular across several industries, this is the first product we’ve seen that utilizes this technology in early learning.”

The three courses have duration one year and help the children learning the different disciplines following the Common Core State Standards, the American learning standards; on the actual success of this method seems to be no doubts: a research made by Dr. Tamara Ogeltree, Associate Professor of Reading at the University of West Georgia, proved how the use of the Letters alive® program meant a substantial enhancement of learning in the children. “[…] Students in the full implementation of Letters alive® experienced greater gains in emergent literacy skill development than the students in the classroom using no parts of the Letters alive® curriculum,” concluded Ogletree.

As we are noticing in last times, the application of augmented reality to learning is always more popular and widespread: there’s no doubt that the school environment will be one of the ones taking more advantage from the development of this technology.


It seems that Kickstarter and Augmented reality are often a good couple: only two days ago, we talked about SEER and its reached goal of $100,000, today we give some news on another project launched on the same funding platform.

We are talking about the children book “Goodnight Lad”: in 2015 to learn reading and falling asleep with a goodnight story are not the same as in the past, because now there’s Augmented Reality. How Bradley Grimm and the little Logan explain us in the video below, you just have to download the app and to aim on the book to see marvelous animations giving life to the story.

All this because, as the creator says, if children love books, they’ll be anyway distracted by smartphones. Joining the forces, books and technology will help children learning to read earlier, easier and better. Opinion of a dad!