Crazy 'bout Cardboard: Nintendo Labo
Earlier this year, Nintendo released a toy construction platform that can be used as an extension to the popular Nintendo Switch console. In recent years, more and more innovators are taking advantage of the simplicity and accessibility of cardboard to create affordable, yet durable products.
DEVELOPMENT AND USES
Recently, on a cover of Ariana Grande’s latest song on the Jimmy Fallon show, all the instruments used seemed to be made out of cardboard. It was revealed that these instruments were part of one of Nintendo’s latest creation: the Nintendo Labo. The Labo was officially announced on January 17th, 2018. Nintendo created the product in order to increase the appeal of the Nintendo Switch for a wider age range. These kits are made up of cardboard cutouts and other materials that can be combined with the Switch’s “Joy-Con” controllers to create what are called “Toy-Con”. These modified controllers are used to make games interactive. Another innovative feature of the Labo software is the feature “Toy-Con Garage”. This feature lets users make and program their own controllers using existing Labo kits or other materials.
Currently, the Labo comes in two kits: the variety kit and the robot kit. The variety kit contains kits for 5 different Toy-Cons, which are: two remote controlled cars, a fishing rod, a toy piano, a motorbike, and a house. The robot kit enables users to make a robot suit which includes a visor and a backpack. Users can build and use these kits to make consoles for various games offered on the Switch.
In recent years, cardboard has emerged as a unique and popular material for gadgets. One example that comes to mind is the Google Cardboard, one of the most uncomplicated and affordable VR headsets in the market. With a retail price of $15.00, the Google Cardboard is a good way to engage in the latest trends of virtual reality without breaking the bank. Another underlying concept behind these cardboard devices is that of accessibility. The affordability that comes with using such a low cost material makes this technology accessible to a wider range of people. This makes it possible for a greater number of people to use this technology and in turn increases the reach of these devices. A simple choice of material can have an immense impact in terms of the number of people it reaches.
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