Grover’s Block Party

Client: Sesame Workshop and Qualcomm

About the Project

Grover’s Block Party revolutionizes the way children play with blocks. A world-first interactive multi-screen gaming experience for preschoolers, Grover’s Block Party sees a 3D Grover move between a tablet and TV while organically commenting and prompting, but never instructing children, as they play with physical alphabet blocks. This Sesame Street Grover app provides a unique learning experience for children.

Our Involvement

Sesame Workshop and Qualcomm approached us with the concept and a unique technical challenge: find a way for an intelligent 3D Grover to enhance children’s block play powered by Qualcomm’s AllJoyn technology, a framework to allow all the Things in the ‘Internet of Things’ to interact with each other, and Vuforia augmented reality platform.
Having worked with Sesame Workshop and Qualcomm the previous year on a first of its kind multi-screen experience for preschoolers using AllJoyn technology, we were beyond excited to be approached about Grover’s Block Party as the use of emerging technologies for kids’ entertainment and education is right up our alley. In addition, our skilled technical engineers who have worked across multi-screen, internet of things, augmented reality and health technology absolutely love getting their teeth into projects that require complex technology solutions that have never been tried before. The more difficult a technology challenge we throw at them, the more excited they get!

How it Works

The tablet’s front-facing camera picks up the child’s block play interaction and Grover hops down from the TV to the tablet to provide encouragement during play. Grover never instructs, only comments and prompts children based on what he sees. Sometimes animations are triggered directly on the blocks, sometimes they are between the two screens. Sometimes what a child builds will trigger traditional Sesame Street video segments. At the end of the day, despite all the magic surrounding the child, it’s all about playing with alphabet blocks.

The Result

Our team worked in close collaboration with Qualcomm, Sesame Workshop, and awesome animation company Magnetic Dreams to launch Grover’s Block Party at CES2014 where it was extremely well received by the public and industry alike. Since then it’s been showcased at conferences including SXSW Interactive, SXSW Edu, V21 (as keynote speaker) and iKids, and more recently is a finalist for Most Innovative Product at the 2015 AIMIA Awards.

Did You Know?

Sesame Workshop reported Grover’s Block Party as having one of the best ever engagement levels during kid testing, with kids playing uninterrupted for 45 minutes.

Watch the video!