Wonderscope is an augmented reality storytelling experience for iOS (as of the time of writing). It was developed for kids in mind. It incorporates three different stories, with an intent to increase the available stories over time (“Growing library of incredible stories”).
The available stories are Ä Brief History of Amazing Stunts by Astounding People”, “Little Red the Inventor” and “Wonder’s Land Ringmaster Wanted” which is planned to come out soon (might already be out by the time you read this).
I tried out the first story which explains about three of history’s most impossible stunts and allows us to meet the real people who made those stunts happen.
The educational content and interaction are done using 3D models, voice acting and voice recognition. Users are able to read lines and therefore produce minimal voice interactions, which for kids, should be very impactful.
With vibrant cartoon-style visuals, cheerful music, voice acting, and interaction, kids are able to get more emotionally and physically evolve with the experience. It feels more like being inside a book compare to read one and looking at the images. On the other hand, you rely less on the child’s imagination and allow them to perceive the story with how it meant to be seen, like watching a movie in that sense.
The story is consumed in more of our available senses, thus allowing us to get more involved with it and feel part of it. This leads to a higher immersion and engagement on the user’s part and increasing the change of the user viewing it throughout. Furthermore, if the experience is more emotionally impactful, it might encourage the kids to continue the learning and show interest in the subjects after the experience is over. This is why these type of AR experiences are great for education because they motivate users to engage with it and therefore learn new things in a more entertaining and pleasant environment.
Users are also encouraged to not just talk, but more around the AR scene, view it from different angles and even take pictures with the virtual characters themselves. More than that, kids will feel like they are actually responsible for the outcome of what happens in the story, that feeling of being in control can encourage learning even on topics that the kid haven’t shown interest at.
I made a complete video review about Wonderscope.
As you can see, aside from being a very polished and well-developed app, the developer put a great deal of effort in making sure every part of the app is delivered in a fun and impactful way, including the hardware permissions process and the AR surface scanning procedure which is required for most ARKit-enabled apps.
Wonderscope also takes great use of humor to deliver the story and allow kids to have some good laughs on the way as they observe and enjoy the experience. It’s like watching a funny cartoon TV series in a way and it’s not new that nowadays many educational contents are delivered in that manner.
With augmented reality, it is done in the same way, but now users aren’t just observers but take an active part of the experience themselves. There are also some subtle interaction parts to make kids more involved with it and encourage them to listen and follow the story throughout.
Overall, Wonderscope delivers a story in a different and more exciting way than other storytelling mediums are incapable of facilitating.
Wonderscope is available on the App Store for iOS for free, with unlockable paid chapters. If you have kids, I highly recommend downloading this app. Just keep in mind that the app is, designed in English (voice-recognition spoke words and narration is in English) and make sure you have a compatible device that can run it (list of devices are in the description section of the page on the App Store).
Download Wonderscope from the App Store here.