The Merge Cube is the world’s first holographic toy that allows users to physically hold and interact with 3D objects using augmented reality (AR) technology.
The cube, available from Walmart stores across the US from this week, is compatible with iOS and Android devices and already has dozens of games and experiences built for it. It sells for $14.99.
The Merge Cube is fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology,” said Merge founder Franklin Lyons. “Our Merge Cube and Goggles allow users to interact with more than just a screen – now they can build worlds, explore the human brain, visit foreign lands and more through the power of VR/AR. With this first-of-its-kind product, people can experience the wonder and amazement of interacting with holographic, 3D content in a natural and intuitive way,” said Lyons.
The Merge Cube won an award when it was revealed at the electronics fair CES 2017 in Las Vegas in January. It follows Merge’s VR/AR Goggles ($59.99), now available in more than 5000 retail stores worldwide.
Merge Cube game apps currently available include:
- Th!ngs: A collection of holographic mini-games where users can hatch and play with their very own Octopet, battle alien forces, and even hold a campfire in the palm of their hands.
- Mr Body: A hands-on, holographic anatomy lesson that gives a close-up view of the vital organs and their functions, and makes learning about the human body fun.
- Galactic Explorer: An educational game that lets users hold and interact with the solar system. They can watch as planets orbit the sun, explore the texture and color of each planet’s surface and discover interesting facts as users navigate the universe.
- Dig!: A world-building game that lets users build and mine to create holographic 3D worlds they can hold in the palm of their hand, save their creations, share with friends, and even download and build off others’ pre-built worlds.
Merge has created a $1 million developer fund to encourage people from around the world to help shape the future of play.
“With an innovative product like Merge Cube, we wanted to expand our support of the dev community to encourage innovation and creativity for all AR/VR platforms,” said Merge VR Co-founder Andrew Trickett. “The Goggles and Cube, paired with original apps and those coming in from third-party app developers, provide a hands-on, educational virtual space for a new generation.”
“When a kid can pick up a physical object and see it turn into ‘something else’ in the palm of their hand, it’s magic,” says Chad Lee, CEO of developer React VRX. “Developing products that create this magic is exciting for us.”