WRLDS Launches New ‘Smart Ball’ With Augmented Reality Features to Get Players Outdoors and Active

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Toy Company WRLDS Announces Smart Bouncing Ball and Platform for Active Mobile Gaming Following Successful $600K Round of Seed Funding

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WRLDS, the company that develops smart toys and platforms for connected play, today announced the release of a new augmented reality (AR) and bluetooth-enabled smart ball and platform. The ball is made of a lightweight, bouncy material and has a built-in chip to control mobile games, giving “tween” players healthy new ways to engage in active, outdoor play by essentially turning the whole world into a game.

“We wanted to bridge the gap between the two ‘wrlds’ we love: gaming and being outdoors,” said WRLDS co-founder and CEO Felix von Heland. “The WRLDS ball is ideal for a range of games — from simple hand/eye coordination games to sports games, social games and new takes on augmented reality games. Just imagine playing Pokémon GO and actually throwing a real ball at the Pokémon rather than just staring at the screen.”

The new smart ball is about the size and weight of a tennis ball and is made of durable, lightweight “Moon Foam,” an invention of seed investor Waboba, which has sold more than 20 million Moon Foam balls since their introduction in 2003. With a bounce return rate of more than 70 percent, the WRLDS smart ball is one of the bounciest balls on the planet.

The first WRLDS smart ball depicts a character called “the Water Soul,” who will later be joined by the Fire, Earth and Wind souls. These characters will have different physical features and different in-game personalities — strong, wise, vicious and empathic. Together they are WRLDS’ first family of “Ancient Souls” and are all limited editions. As WRLDS evolves, new characters and families will be added.

Inside the new smart ball are components similar to those of a smartphone: an accelerometer to record movement, impact and g-force; an antenna; a Nordic Semiconductor chip; and an encapsulated CPU with sensors to communicate with mobile devices using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). The smart ball converts data coming from the ball into usable in-game events, so players can:

  • Use the ball to interact with the real-world and gaming environments simultaneously
  • Create splashes of colors and shapes in augmented reality
  • Interact with map-based territory games to take over or reimagine real-world locations, like New York City, London or the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Bounce or throw the ball to make art — or fart noises

The smart ball will be released with a minimum of four free games, which will be available in Google Play and the Apple App Store. These will include:

  • United: A game that gets the gang together to compete in speed, reflexes and coordination. Everyone can play, but only one can win.
  • Splash: A map-based game where players bounce the ball to create an AR view of conquered territory. Players can choose their own color and pattern to conquer entire blocks in this map-based bouncing frenzy or team up with other players to conquer the whole “wrld.”
  • Squeesh: Bounce the ball, make a fart noise. More bounce, more farts.
  • Souls: A battle-based character game. The Ancient Souls battle monsters and eat their souls to level up while players search for new, powerful gear to make them even more fearsome. Run into a friend? Better bounce! There are no friends in Souls.

“The ball is great for people like me who love gaming,” said international e-Sport champion HeatoN. “It’s the easiest way to get out, be active and move your body. It allows players to reimagine the world.”

“The WRLDS team is looking to leverage mobile gaming as the solution to today’s tweens getting too much screen time and not enough physical activity,” added von Heland. “One of our core missions as a company is to get kids outside moving around. This smart ball is the first in a line of toys that we hope will inspire players to be more active and healthy.”

WRLDS recently completed a $600,000 round of seed funding led by the founders of Waboba; Swedish angel investor Felix Granander; the van Niekerk family, who founded South Africa’s biggest record label, Select Music, later acquired by Sony; and Joakim Liljedahl.

The new smart ball will be available for purchase for $39.99 on the WRLDS website in September 2018.

WRLDS is a smart toy company that hopes to engage today’s teens and tweens in more healthy, active play by bridging the gap between the two “wrlds” of mobile gaming and outdoor play. The company is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and was co-founded by Felix von Heland, inventor of a successful storytelling app called Storimi; and Christian von Heland, who sold 20 million Moon Foam balls through his company Waboba.

For more information, follow WRLDS on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram or visit WRLDS.com.

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Hannah Ruark
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Hannah Ruark

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