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Zowie Playsets
 

Zowie Intertainment, founded in the Silicon Valley in 1998, develops and markets Smart Toys and other technology-based entertainment products. Zowie has a portfolio of proprietary sensing and recognition technologies called Zowie Power(tm). Zowie offers the only Smart Toys that enable kids to control and change on-screen worlds and characters in real time through natural play patterns. To move the characters on-screen, children simply move them on the playset.

Zowie's first products - Ellie's Enchanted Garden and Redbeard's Pirate Quest - are the first toy playsets hooking up to the computer to provide children 4 and up with an integrated tactile/visual play experience. Those interactive playsets were on the shelves of all major toy stores during the Christmas 1999 season. Since then Zowie has been acquired by the Lego Company.

 
Demos
 
Ellie's Enchanted Garden Playset
430KB Flash Demo

Ellie's Enchanted Garden brings to life a backyard playset with a virtual world on the computer that girls 4-7 can explore. The play experience features: free play (set-up and decorate, explore and discover), activities (jump rope, hopscotch, follow the leader, and dancing), spot animations (jumping fish, blooming flowers and flying birds) and information-based mysteries where characters cooperate together to find lost articles or solve mysteries.

 
Redbeard's Pirate Quest Playset
420KB Flash Demo

Redbeard's Pirate Quest brings to life a toy pirate ship with a virtual world on the computer screen that boys 4-7 can explore. The play experience features: four unique worlds to explore (the Skeleton Seas, the Mysterious Waters, Port Plunder and the North Pole), activities (iceberg obstacle course, sea monster cannon shoot, skeleton sword fight and skeleton cannon battle), mission-based activities in which the player can search for buried treasures and free play (steering the ship, cannon shoot-out and sword fights.)

 
Patents
 
US 6047249 Video Camera Based Computer Input System with Interchangeable Physical Interface.
 
US 5953686 Video Camera Based Computer Input System with Interchangeable Physical Interface (continuation patent.)
 
US 6167353 Computer Method and Apparatus for Interacting with a Physical System.
 
WO 045250A2 Interactive Entertainment Systems and Methods.
 
US 6417663 Detecting physical objects states using electromagnetic sensors.
 
US 6108612 Coded Objects and Methods for Detecting Such Coded Objects.
 
US 6151564 Coded Object System and Code Recognition Methods.