When we received the package from Ubooly Inc., I knew what was inside but I didn’t tell my boys (5, 3 & 2) right away. We unpacked the box when we got home and my kids shrugged it off as just another plushie but their interest was piqued when they saw the technological side of this “soft toy”. Ubooly brings traditional stuffed toys into the digital age by turning your iPhone or iPod Touch into an interactive and educational talking buddy for your child. By downloading the free Ubooly Pet app and inserting your device into the top of the toy, Ubooly’s face magically comes to life and he interacts with the people around him via voice commands. Ubooly has a library of stories, jokes, games and other activities that are activated by the user asking for them. Simply say to Ubooly out loud “tell me a story” or “play me a song” and he will. If you don’t talk to him for a while, he falls asleep and starts snoring (a feature my kids thought was hilarious) and he had no problem understanding my and my kids Australian accent.
“This little critter is full of interactive content that inspires creative play with a healthy dose of humor and adventure.”
The free app, when used in conjunction with the Ubooly toy, offers many hours of interactive activities and Ubooly becomes smarter the more often he is used. To be able to use the app with the toy, you must first “adopt your Ubooly” by entering the six-digit code that comes in the box to register him. Exciting new content is available for Ubooly each month and can be downloaded by updating the app from the App Store. When used as a standalone app (without the toy), it does contain a fun Tamagotchi-style game where you earn coins to buy items for your Ubooly pet by playing mini-games, however there are also in-app purchases where the user can buy extra coins or shells in exchange for real money. This toy is aimed at ages 4 – 9 so I would have liked to have seen some kind of childproofing on the in-app purchases to ensure no inadvertent purchases were made by the kids while playing the games.
From his humble beginnings as a (highly successful!) kickstarter project, Ubooly has gone on to be featured on sites such as Mashable, TechCrunch and CNet to name just a few. At the time of writing this review, Ubooly could only speak English but the developer has mentioned they will be adding additional languages in 2013. Priced at US$29.95, Ubooly works with iPhone 3GS, 4/4S, and 5 as well as iPod touch 4G and 5 with support for certain Android devices coming soon. To keep up to date on the new content for Ubooly, and to read his witty updates, be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter. I can see this furry little guy becoming a hit in many households the world over!
Ubooly Petby Ubooly Inc.
Category: Education, Kids, Games, Educational
Requirements: Compatible with all
Size: 45.13 MB
Screenshots(Click to enlarge)
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DISCLAIMER: This product was sent to me for free for the purpose of this review but this has not influenced the objectivity of the review and all opinions have been offered honestly.