How developers are combining physical toys with digital worlds

Annakaisa Kultima walks us through her research

How developers are combining physical toys with digital worlds

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2016, Annakaisa Kultima, a researcher and lecturer at the University of Tampere, gave a talk on how physical games are combining with the digital world.

She started by identifying that a huge number of physical games "come with an app", with toys and gadgets now coming with additional software that adds additional value to the product.

Not just for kids

Kultima also noted a trend in toys offering a secondary function of teaching coding to kids, and older toys returning to the market with an added app.

"There are certain catalysts that are working towards this future," she stated, such as 3D printing on the technology side of things and the trend of "designer toys" for adults, not just children.

You can see all our videos from Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2016 in this YouTube playlist.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.