Lego's Fusion bridges the divide between virtual and physical gameplay

The boffins at Lego seem to understand that it is getting harder for kids to tear their eyes away from a tablet or a smartphone (Angry Birds Epic anyone?), which is why they're introducing a new series of game sets that allows you to translate real world brick building to a digital medium.

Dubbed Lego Fusion, the game sets come with 200 pieces and include a special Fusion Capture Plate on which the facades can be built. You can build any 16-bricks-wide by 16-bricks-tall facades, as long as all structures feature a floor and are built on the Capture Plate.

After building the facade, you can use the Lego's apps camera function to capture it. The translation of the real-world facade into a digital medium is accomplished by Qualcomm's Vuforia, which is what powers the Fusion Capture Plate.

Initially, Lego is offering four game sets: Lego Fusion Town Master, Lego Fusion Battle Towers, Lego Fusion Create & Race and Lego Fusion Resort Designer. Each set focuses on a different element of play that Lego has identified as being of interest to children.

According to Ditte Bruun Pedersen, senior design manager at Lego's Future Lab, children do not differentiate between the physical and the virtual modes of play. "To them, it's not two separate worlds. It's one world that blends together. It's all just play."

Pedersen stated that the Fusion game sets, which do not come with any build instructions, foster creativity in children. "For most kids, if you simply give them a pile of bricks and tell them to build something, they go blank." This is where the virtual game comes into play. The objectives in the game allow kids to build interesting structures on their own.

The Town Master, Battle Towers and Create & Race game sets will be launching this August, while the Resort Designer set will be available in stores a month after that. The physical game sets will cost $34.99, but the accompanying apps will be free to download. Lego has stated that it will be debuting Android and iOS apps once the game kits are close to launch.

Any of you guys interested in the idea?


Harish Jonnalagadda

The clumsiest man in tech.