Silicon Valley's self-proclaimed toy company, Nukotoys, is trying to get children to engage with iPads using special "magic" NUKO Cards.
NUKO Cards are actually…pretty cool. They look like regular cards with animals and/or monsters on them, but when you tap them on your iPad's touchscreen, the animal or monster appears on the screen. Nukotoys won't tell us how this patented technology works (it doesn't use the camera), but we can only assume it has something to do with the electrical capacitance of the touchscreen. If this is true (and it probably is), there may be a way to manipulate the touchscreen using your fingers, in order to get certain animals/monsters to pop up.
Nukotoys will be releasing two games this spring. Animal Planet: Wildlands is based on (you guessed it) Animal Planet, and has cards that feature animals from the African plains, such as zebras, elephants, and hyenas. Kids can just tap a card on an iPad screen to see the animal come to life on the screen. They can then control the animal using the iPad's accelerometer, or check out Animal Planet facts on the animal.
Monsterology is a more-involved game based on the Ology book series by Templar Publishing (Monsterology, Wizardology, and Vampireology are some of the titles). Monsterology is a turn-based strategy game featuring monsters and fantasy creatures such as Cyclops, unicorns, and dragons.
Animal Planet: Wildlands is meant for younger kids, while Monsterology is aimed at tweens and teens. Packs of physical cards will cost $1.99 each, but kids can also purchase virtual cards online. The apps will both be free and will come with a pack of virtual cards.
NUKO Cards will work with both the original iPad and the iPad 2 (and probably the new iPad), as well as with iPhones and iPod Touches. There are no plans for Android compatibility at the moment.