Picoo is a portable console designed for children to use in outdoor games
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The creators of Picoo presented their new console at CES, an outdoor portable game console for kids. According to its creators, the goal is to marry children’s love for video games with other outdoor activities. Considering that around 20% of American gamers are under the age of 18, this might spark the interest of playing kids or their parents.
Picoo is a portable device with a light on the end that looks a bit like a PlayStation Move controller. It operates from a four hour battery charge and the starter kit includes four controllers and five game cards. To use it, kids will scan a card associated with a game on the device’s built-in NFT reader. , and the Picoo will then recognize the children playing this game.
The Picoo has built-in feedback systems including haptics, lights and sounds. One example the developers gave me was that if kids are playing hide and seek, their controllers will turn on when they find other players.
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The Picoo is completely autonomous, say its creators. It doesn’t require an online connection or smartphone to play, although parents do need the paired smartphone app to facilitate software upgrades. Some of the games were designed specifically for Picoo. One game, called Zombierun, involves players trying to infect themselves with the plague of the living dead – players know they’ve been zombified when their Picoo’s light changes color. Picoo also offers educational games, including math puzzles.
Iris Soute, CEO and Co-Founder of Picoo, said Picoo’s goal is to spark children’s interest in technology while having them play outdoors the old-fashioned way. She told GamesBeat in an interview, “There’s this great attraction for kids to play sedentary games. But children still like to play together, face to face, outdoors. This is what video games lack. Video games offer very one-dimensional means of communication. Once the kids are outside and playing outside they can enjoy a different kind of energy and fun, I think that’s the most compelling element we have about video games.
Soute says one of the Picoo’s future plans is to give kids the ability to create their own games to play with. “It’s something kids do – when they go out, they negotiate the rules in advance. We would like to give children the flexibility to adapt based on what they think is fun.
Picoo starter kits are currently available for purchase from the company’s website.
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