With thousands of fun and educational apps, touchscreen technology is changing the way children play and learn. Whether it's simple games or coloring apps, or interactive story books, things have definitely changed drastically in the last decade. However, despite all of these fancy new gadgets, the classic teddy bear hasn't lost his appeal just yet. Purveyor of stuffed animals Build-A-Bear today unveiled a brand new story concept with a high-tech twist. The company's new store design is an attempt to merge the hands-on bear-making experience it's famous for with the kind of technology kids these days have grown used to.
The new store features four different stations, each one using a Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense technology to help customers customize their toy. A Love Me station allows kids to add unique traits such as cuddly, brave, silly, and smart to the red satin heart that is eventually stitched inside their new friend. The Hear Me station features an assortment of sounds that can be inserted into the stuffed animals. There's also a Fluff Me station, which is an interactive, virtual bath tub. The tub recognizes items as they are placed on it and reacts with sensory effects such as virtual bubbles that appear when play soap is placed on the "water surface."
Build-A-Bear says it plans to roll out six of these new stores across the United States before the end of the year. The first one has just opened up in West County Center in St. Louis. Upcoming locations include Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, California (Friday, Oct. 5), Annapolis Shopping Mall in Annapolis, Maryland (Friday, Oct. 19), The Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan (Friday, Oct. 26), Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virgina (Friday, Nov. 9), and Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana (Friday, Nov. 16).