Press Release – SAN ANTONIO, TX — August 1, 2017 – Merge, defining the future of toys, today announced that its newest product, the Merge Cube, will be available exclusively in Walmart stores across the US beginning this week. The Merge Cube is the world’s first holographic toy that allows users to physically hold and interact with 3D objects using augmented reality (AR) technology. The Merge Cube is fundamentally changing the way people interact with technology, has an affordable price point of $14.99, is compatible with iOS and Android devices, and already has dozens of games and experiences built for it.
The launch of the CES 2017 award-winning product, Merge Cube in Walmart stores follows the success of the company’s Merge VR/AR Goggles ($59.99), which are available in more than 5,000 retail stores worldwide. The only VR/AR Goggles approved for everyone ages 10 and up, the marshmallow-soft goggles offer kids a fun way to experience this exciting new technology. The Merge Cube will expand into other major retailers soon.
“We’re excited to bring the Merge Cube to Walmart stores and physically put this technology into people’s hands. With this first-of-its-kind product, people can experience the wonder and amazement of interacting with holographic, 3D content in a natural and intuitive way,” said Merge Founder Franklin Lyons. “Our Merge Cube and Goggles allow users to interact with more than just a screen – now they can build worlds, explore the human brain, visit foreign lands and more through the power of VR/AR.”
Also launching today is Merge Miniverse, a portal to virtual and augmented worlds. As a leading innovator in the VR/AR industry, Merge is creating more than just products, but also apps and experiences that make this new technology accessible to everyone. Through this new site, AR and VR explorers can choose from hundreds of curated apps and experiences to use with Merge Goggles and Cubes, as well as other AR/VR devices. Merge Cube apps currently available (with more coming soon) include:
Th!ngs: A collection of holographic mini-games where users can hatch and play with their very own Octopet, battle alien forces, and even hold a campfire in the palm of their hands.
Mr. Body: A hands on, holographic anatomy lesson that gives a close-up view of the vital organs and their functions, and makes learning about the human body fun.
Galactic Explorer: An educational game that lets users hold and interact with the solar system. They can watch as planets orbit the Sun, explore the texture and color of each planet’s surface and discover interesting facts as users navigate the universe.
Dig!: A world-building game that lets users build and mine to create holographic 3D worlds they can hold in the palm of their hand, save their creations, share with friends, and even download and build off others’ pre-built worlds.
Merge is inviting developers from around the world to join them in shaping the future of play. In June, the company announced its Merge AR|VR Developer Fund, a one million dollar fund to support the developer community building apps for Merge products.
“With an innovative product like Merge Cube, we wanted to expand our support of the dev community to encourage innovation and creativity for all AR/VR platforms,” said Merge VR Co-founder Andrew Trickett. “The Goggles and Cube, paired with original apps and those coming in from third-party app developers, provide a hands-on, educational virtual space for a new generation.”
Nationally recognized studios already participating in Merge’s Developer Fund include React VRX, Draw & Code, Steelehouse Productions, Chicken Waffle, NextGen Interactions, Possum Interactive, Half Full Nelson, Cenda Games and many more.
“When a kid can pick up a physical object and see it turn into ‘something else’ in the palm of their hand, it’s magic,” says Chad Lee, CEO of React VRX. “Developing products that create this magic is exciting for us. We can design so many interesting things around the cube and hope to partner with Merge to make it ‘Toy of the Year’!”
About Merge VR
Founded in 2013, Merge Labs, Inc. is a virtual reality company focused on making VR fun and easy for all VR explorers, ages 10+. Products include the Merge VR Goggles, VR START (www.VRSTART.com) the Merge Cube, and a universal motion controller for mobile VR.
About Merge Miniverse
Merge Miniverse is a portal to virtual and augmented worlds with hundreds of curated apps and experiences to choose from. Each experience has been tested by our team of experts for quality, and includes ratings for age appropriateness, motion intensity and customer reviews. Join a community of AR and VR explorers today at www.Miniverse.io.
Sean Earley is the podcast host and Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine, Modern Musician Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development, PR and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.