Above: Osmo uses AR to teach kids.

Image Credit: Osmo

GamesBeat: Do you feel some difference in coming from a big video game company, working in a company that doesn’t have its roots in games? Osmo being more of a tech company.

Coyne: I don’t know whether I would describe Osmo as just in tech. This is what makes it interesting. Yes, it has its roots in tech, and a lot of the people here are from more of a tech background, but gaming and play and toys also make up the DNA of the company. That kind of soup is quite an interesting place to be. Toy companies are also looking more and more tech and games and learning for what they can do. Those are the elements that I think put this company at the leading edge of what’s happening.

GamesBeat: What kind of events are important for Osmo, compared to something like E3 for Activision?

Coyne: Events like E3 or Toy Fair give certain industries a beat. I’m not sure that we necessarily think in that way. I think that the events that are more important to Osmo are events that are either macro consumer events – the holidays, for example – or events that we control and create around our launches. The thinking around events is a bit different.


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GamesBeat: As far as the target market, how would you describe it? Is that changing at all for Osmo?

Coyne: The target market is pretty broad. As you know, we have a healthy mix of girls and boys, and an age range that spans, I would say, four to 10-ish. And then we also have parents. There are lots of ardent Osmo fans because of the kinds of play that we encourage with the physical play augmented by digital with learning.

Above: Pramod Sharma, CEO of Osmo, shows off Osmo Pizza Co.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

GamesBeat: This audience is getting hit with a lot of technological products right now. What are some of their more interesting habits? If I look at my own daughter, she’s spending more time with her phone, for example, and less time with books. I’m not crazy about that, but it’s one of the facts of this generation. What are some of the things about kids that you’re noticing?

Coyne: There are lots of technological advances wherever you look, whether it’s around play or the automotive industry or many other places. Technology is not going to go away or slow down. I do think that the physical connection is still incredibly important. Hands-on play, hands-on learning experiences that you get with Osmo are incredibly valuable. Parents appreciate it, and kids appreciate it. They get very engaged in what they’re doing when they play with Osmo.

GamesBeat: Is there something that Osmo does to address novelty in your products? Through that simple mirror clip you’ve created a lot of products, but are there other things that you’re thinking about? It seems like the Hot Wheels product showed some very different thinking.

Above: Osmo uses the iPad camera to recognize objects in Pizza Co.

Image Credit: Osmo

Coyne: It’s basically the idea that space can be used to create interesting play experiences, which can then be amplified or encouraged by the device, or gamified by the device. As you said, Hot Wheels MindRacers showed that there’s great opportunity for different varieties of play. We have play that’s more learning-based, involving numbers and letters, with our Genius Kit. We have play that’s much more creative, that involves drawing and creating a world for a character, with our monster game. And then we have an experience that’s more strategic and collaborative with Hot Wheels MindRacers.

It takes a different angle on the idea of a racing game, to make it more strategic. It puts the power-ups in the palm of your hand, and you have to choose when to play them. You can play collaboratively with someone, so you don’t necessarily have to be racing against them.

GamesBeat: As far as platforms go, does Osmo have its platform, or are you still looking for other platforms out there? Beyond the iPad?

Coyne: Currently we’re iOS-based. The definition of platform is interesting, though. Just because of the nature of Osmo, I would say that Osmo itself is a platform, or a system of play. Once you have the base and the reflector, that gives you the opportunity to play the various different games we have.

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