Toy Fair 2010: Avatar i-TAG Technology Delivers 3D Augmented Reality within Your Budget
Avatar, one of the year’s hit movies has prompted the creation of many a toy, but none as spectacular as Mattel’s line of Avatar toys complete with i-TAG augmented reality technology. This amazing Avatar toy line of action figures features the flick’s characters, vehicles, and more from James Cameron’s blockbuster. The action figure toys are available now and start at just $8.99, but the physical toy is not what we’re really interested in. Each toy comes with its own specific i-TAG card, and that’s what really blew us away. The i-TAG looks like a plastic credit card decorated with symbols and graphics. Display the i-TAG under a regular computer webcam and watch a 3D model come to life on-screen. How? It uses augmented reality.
You can watch your Avatar character or vehicle float on top of your i-TAG and revolve in 3D as if is really there. Move the i-TAG around and the 3D model will follow, it even projects a shadow on the surface. The i-TAG has faux buttons that when pressed under the webcam, will spring the toy into life by unlocking certain unique features. All i-TAGS have an info button that will bring up an onscreen bio of your character or vehicle revealing all sorts of neat tidbits. Set up seems real simple: just go to the official Avatar iTAG website and follow the step-by-step directions. Your augmented reality experience should be good to go in a matter of minutes on any Mac or PC with a webcam and high-speed internet connection.