Little Hippo Books
Little Hippo Books is a leading US-based publishing company that specializes in AR books for children. This company has become not just our client, but a partner in many projects. Together, we have already created more than fifty AR books for children of different ages. Four of them (The Velveteen Rabbit, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears) won the highest American Non-Profit Parents’ Choice Award in 2018. Due to these successful projects, Little Hippo Books has acquired a license from Disney to use some of its world-famous characters. One of them was Winnie the Pooh, the beloved character in the whole world.
To develop animations and educational games in augmented reality for the book that teaches children to recognize and memorize various objects.
We also had to pass a two-level agreement with the licensor. At the first stage of approvals, Disney representatives checked the character's compliance with their corporate standards, and at the second stage, they evaluated the quality of the whole project. Disney is known for its strict regulations and they agreed to issue a license only on the condition that they retain the right to edit the project at any stage. Therefore, our responsibility to Little Hippo Books was very high.
The AR component of this project includes one non-interactive animation (cover), nine interactive animations (one for each page), and a final interactive game.
The user gradually immerses in the book’s universe. First, after pointing the phone at the cover, the user watches a short cartoon in augmented reality. In it, Winnie invites the reader to embark on the journey to find some things. This animation features the main idea of the book and demonstrates how everything will be arranged during the upcoming exciting journey. Its task is to encourage children to read the book till the end.
The rest of the animations are interactive. The young reader meets a little confused Winnie the Pooh, who cannot find the things he needs. The child can help him by tapping the image of this or that thing on the screen. If the child faces some difficulties, then another character – a bee - comes to help. It flies over the hinted object.
After the child finds the object its denoting word appears on the screen, and Winnie becomes very happy and thanks the child for his help.
As a result, we are having multi-channel learning with positive support - the child memorizes how the object looks, as well as how its name sounds and is spelled. Additional efficiency is achieved since the learning process itself takes place in the most natural form of play, with friendly help if necessary.
To consolidate the gained knowledge the user can play an interactive memory-developing game at the end of the book. In it, previously found objects are first shown next to various characters from the fairy tale. Then the characters hide them. The user has to remember where each of the items was hidden and to find them all one after another. If a child faces some difficulties, he can look at the first image of this animation again and try one more time. After all the items are found, Winnie thanks the child.
This project was not our first experience with licensed Disney characters. Therefore, we already understood the logic of such circumstances, and, strictly following the Winnie the Pooh brief provided by Disney, we got all the approvals quite easily.
After that, the books successfully got on the shelves of Disney Store in the United States and Canada. Besides, the book's sales figures showed a good result on Amazon.
The exact figures are not disclosed by the client, but the number of mobile app downloads - more than 50,000 times - says it all about the project’s success. At the same time, the average time of active user interaction with the book is about 20 minutes. Such results show a high level of engagement.