Augmented reality has slowly made its way to mobile phones and Mattel seeks to embrace the technology with its new Hot Wheels Augmoto racing set.
Unlike previous toys in which players grab control of the cars to move around and race around a track, the new toy shifts control over to the race track. Connectivity with the user's mobile phone or tablet allows users to toggle some of the virtual options included in the companion app. AR effects and hazards can affect the outcome of the race.
Different Control Options
What sets it apart from the other toys produced by the manufacturer is the type of interaction players have with the system. Older race track sets relied on the kinetic energy generated from the initial launch to carry the vehicles around the track. The winner is often determined by luck if the player's car manages to safely navigate the hazards.
The brand's Ai series showcases remote-controlled toys that rely more on the user's skills to steer, accelerate, and slow down to race down a track. Hot Wheels Augmoto takes it another level with an augmented reality overlay.
AR Racing Mechanics
According to Mattel, the Hot Wheels Augmoto toy set comes with a familiar plastic track, with a signature loop and set of charging plates that play a major role in races. The two battery-powered cars are included that can loop around the tracks up to 40 times on a full charge. Speed is determined by the battery life inside each vehicle.
The mechanics involve Bluetooth connectivity with a compatible device and the augmented reality interaction during the race. Players can control when their cars go on a pit stop to charge and likewise decide when to send the cars through the loop.
Cars that manage to pass through the silver loop gain a power-up, just like characters do in Nintendo's Mario Kart series. These power-ups can be used to attack the opponent, which causes the track to trap them in place until the user successfully beats a random mini-game on their connected device.
Players must effectively manage battery life and AR attacks in order to come out on top during a single race. Hot Wheels confirms that it plans to add more vehicles in the future.
A League Of its Own
A couple of days ago, Mattel revealed its partnership with Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League, to release the Hot Wheels Rocket League Rivals RC toy set. The company is seemingly set to adapt to what the future needs in order to stay relevant in the market.
Both the Hot Wheels Augmoto and the Hot Wheels Rocket League Rivals RC are scheduled to launch sometime this fall. Each set costs $179.99 and $119.99 respectively. Future accessories and vehicles will be sold separately.