Osmo's groundbreaking system fosters social intelligence and creative thinking by opening up the iPad to the endless possibilities of physical play. Teachers everywhere love Osmo and more than 2,000 schools are using Osmo to learn and play!
Osmo relies on Reflective Artificial Intelligence technology. It consists of a base that props up the iPad and a small mirror that gets placed over the iPad's camera. The mirror flips the camera so it points down at the area directly in front of the screen, enabling users to play games on the iPad without actually touching the display.
The device currently has a choice of four games: Tangram, Words, Newton and Masterpiece. Each of the games is downloadable for free from the App Store but the Starter Kit comes with Tangram and Words included.
Tangram is an iPad-enabled version of the ancient Chinese game with the same name, in which players form an object with colourful wooden shapes. Words is a hangman-style puzzle game where players compete against each other to guess a word using letter tiles. Newton is another puzzle game, but it doesn't rely on specific pieces for game play. It's a physics game, similar to Cut the Rope, where players can use any object - from lines on a piece of paper to stuffed animals to their own hands - to fire balls at on-screen targets.
Masterpiece is the game we think of interest to Art teachers. It uses the Osmo's clip-on mirror and the iPad's front-facing camera to help you draw almost anything. The only extras you need to provide are a blank piece of paper, some pens or pencils, and a small amount of coordination. Once your image is on screen and you've placed a piece of paper in front it, the iPad's screen shows a detailed outline of your subject and a live-video view of the surface in front of it. You can "trace" a subject by watching the screen while you draw on the paper, which takes a few seconds to get used to but generally works like a charm.
Osmo works with all iPads and was voted TIME's best inventions of 2014.