4D+ Dinosaur Experience Review (Emerge Technologies)

4D+ Dinosaur Experience
PRICE CHECK
   
EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

What's better than learning about twenty of your favorite dinosaurs? How about if they virtually come to life in the palm of your hand? That's what this Utopia 360 item attempts to do with a blend of augmented and virtual realities, although the results are mixed.

But before we dive into the fun factor, let's take a look at what you get in the box. First, you'll find a very basic VR headset with enough room to slip in a phone. It's nice that the phone  can be toploaded into the headset, but it's a tight squeeze, and you may need to remove your phone's case first. You also get a microfiber cleaning cloth for the headset lenses and an adjustable strap that velcros together to accommodate kid and adult sized heads.

The star of the package are 20 Augmented Reality cards that effectively bring different dinosaurs to life after you download the free Dinosaur 4D+ app from either the Apple App or Google Play store. The app has multiple features including "Selfie Mode" "Holo Mode" "VR Mode" and "AR-VR" mode.

Is It Fun?

The 4D+ Dinosaur Experience comes with several modes, and while some are fun, a few fall flat.

"Selfie mode" is an interesting app, since it creates an overlay of one of eleven dinosaurs over your phone's screen. You can then use either the front or back camera to take a selfie or shoot pics of your selected dino wherever you want, like in a coffee mug or on your shoulder. You can also resize the dinosaur, move it within the frame and turn it so you can capture it at any profile you want. Of course, the dinosaur moves, which means getting a shot without a dino's head or tail in your face can be challenging. Altogether, it's a bit of fun, even though there are many apps with similar functions.

"Holo mode" attempts to create a holographic projection of a dinosaur, coming out of your device. This is where the set is the least successful, since the package doesn't come with a projector. So, this part is not a lot of fun.

"VR mode" is an interesting, but odd attempt to place you in the world of up to five different dinosaurs, including a T-Rex and Triceratops. Basically while wearing the goggles, with the app running, you'll be transported to a forest or meadow with a life-size dinosaur standing in front of you. And, that's about it. The dinosaur doesn't really move and walking toward or away from it doesn't change the perspective. It's a nice novelty, but ultimately a feature for the sake of a feature rather than fun. And, most kids will try it once and never use it again.

The "AR-VR" mode is where this app is at its best. Taking any of the 20 different dinosaur cards renders a 3D dinosaur on top of it. You can then use your fingers to turn the dinosaurs at different angles, make them roar and you can even view multiple dinosaurs at the same time. You can also take a look at each dinosaur's skeleton and learn interesting facts about each creature. Best of all, you can check out this mode with or without the VR goggles. The only real issue with this mode is that if you tilt the card too much your dinosaur vanishes from existence, so it's best to lay the cards on the table and move your device around them.

Who It’s For

This toy is intended for ages 7 and up, and that's definitely the right age group. There are a lot of interesting things to do with this beginner AR and VR set, but it's not likely to capture the attention of kids older than 10.

What To Be Aware Of

"Holo mode" attempts to create a holographic projection of a dinosaur, coming out of your device. This is where the set is the least successful, since the package doesn't come with a projector. So, this part is not a lot of fun.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    Easy