Bandai have revealed new interactive toy packaging at London Toy Fair this week. With the use of a free augmented app developed by Aurasma, with the use of a smart phone, the customer can see the toy out of the package before purchase, giving the customer a 3D view of the toy! This new development comes from Bandai forming a partnership with Aurasma, developers of the app. Aurasma have issued the following press release:

Aurasma partner with Bandai to bring new dimension to toy shopping

Kids can now try before they buy thanks to a free augmented reality app that brings toys to 3D life even when they are boxed up and sitting on store shelves.

Aurasma – the world’s leading augmented reality platform – has partnered with toy giant Bandai in the first ever commercial use of their new 3D engine. Bandai will be showing off this new concept in pack design and toy interaction at today’s Toy Fair 2012 at London’s Olympia.

Thanks to Aurasma’s 3D technology, kids can now interact with Bandai favourites like Thundercats, Ben10 and Power Rangers in a whole new digital way. Instead of just looking at a static toy in the packaging, kids can now use their smartphone to unlock and view a 3D animated character that appears to be part of the real world.

To take part in this interactive experience, kids simply need to point the camera of an Aurasma-enabled smartphone at a special edition Bandai toy box and then watch as the toy character magically comes to 3D digital life. They can also see videos of the toys on the packaging with the option to click through to the product’s website.

This new augmented experience is not just limited to the aisles of toy shops. The digital delights embedded in the packaging of selected Bandai toys can be viewed anywhere in the world, with the toy’s logo acting as a “trigger image” that the app’s technology can recognise.

Of course, the packaging itself continues to work as a trigger even after the toy has been purchased and taken home.

“Parents will now have to remember not to throw away the packaging which, thanks to Aurasma, looks set to become an essential part of the toy’s experience and something kids keep returning to,” said Martina King, Managing Director of Aurasma.

Martina continued, “Using new technology comes as second nature to kids today and whether using their parents’ or their own mobile phone, this imaginative partnership between Aurasma and Bandai will delight the whole family. And best of all, because Aurasma is free to download, it means that now pocket money can be stretched just that little bit further.”

Marketing Director at Bandai, Darrell Jones, added:

“Bandai is always working to make our toys more imaginative and interactive than ever before so we are thrilled to be the first commercial partner to use this pioneering 3D technology from Aurasma. By partnering together, we’re creating a 21st century toy experience where the physical toy, its digital animation and our online presence come together in a completely new way. For our customers to be able to unlock this experience with their own smartphone while in store or at home is a real first for the toy industry, and we look forward to extending this partnership in 2012.”

Launched in July 2011, more than three million users and 2,000 brands now use Aurasma – available for free on iPhone3GS, 4, 4S, iPad2 and high-powered Android devices – making it one of the fastest-growing apps in the world. Aurasma even has simple in-app tools that allow the user to add hundreds of animated 3D characters into the real world and share the experience with friends.

The cutting-edge image recognition technology allows smart devices to see, recognise and understand real-life images and objects in much the same way as the human brain does. Aurasma then uses this fundamental understanding of the real world to seamlessly augment the scene with virtual content such as videos, animations and 3D objects called “auras”. No barcodes, visual tags or special glasses are required for Aurasma to work.

Be sure to check out the video below to see this cool new feature in action!