Meghan Athavale's video game making great strides
Lumo, an interactive toy, turns surfaces into interactive play areas
Ever heard of a toy that lets your kids draw on the wall and play soccer in the living room without damaging your house?
A Winnipeg video game creator has come up with a game that is fun, useful and harmless.
Video game technology was too expensive for Meghan Athavale, so she made her own. Her innovative technology is being used around the world, and it could soon come to your home.
Growing up, I preferred non-branded toys. I really liked things like cardboard boxes, huge heaps of paper, those glow-in-the-dark stars you could put on your walls.- Meghan Athavale
It's a cutting-edge interactive toy called Lumo, and it's housed in a projector. When it's pointed at any surface, it turns that surface into an interactive area. Unlike touchscreens, this is more active.
"For children, especially those living in urban centres where they may not get as much time outside to be active, this is a huge advantage," Athavale said.
"Kids are spending more and more time in front of a screen now, and we really wanted to find a way to help them get back to using their bodies."
The projector is currently being developed at a commercial incubator in San Francisco.
Athavale admits she was born to do this kind of work.
"I was a really creative kid. Growing up, I preferred non-branded toys. I really liked things like cardboard boxes, huge heaps of paper, those glow-in-the-dark stars you could put on your walls," she said.
"Even now, they inform my work as a developer and as an artist. I'm trying to find a way to recapture that sense of being in a space or trying to create a space."
Athavale's company was one of 12 companies accepted to go to San Fransisco by PCH, a major manufacturing company, to develop Lumo for four months.
"It basically fast-tracks us," she said.
"There's a lot that needs to be learned when you're commercializing hardwares, especially if it's your first time — everything from certification to finding the right processor. And these guys have done it a million times."
All going well, Athavale hopes Lumo will be on store shelves next year.
Hear Meghan Athavale on CBC's Information Radio with Marcy Markusa on Thursday, March 20.