‘Happy meals’ to get happier, thanks to Israeli virtual reality tech

One of the world’s biggest distributors of novelties is engaging with Israel’s WakingApp to create ‘funner’ toys

Epson Moverio glasses (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Epson Moverio glasses (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Those little toys kids get in “happy meal” offerings by the various fast-food chains were most likely made by international novelty firm PPI Worldwide, which has sold over 4 billion Disney figurines, Pokemons and just about any other plastic collectible.

But with PPI’s new partnership with Israeli virtual reality tech firm WakingApp, the company is likely to find its warehouses overflowing with inventory, as kids start collecting new toys and devices stuffed with augmented reality and virtual reality technology, changing the perception of what a freebie “toy” is for a new generation being raised on the latest digital technology.

“Happy meals,” of course, are the kids’ meals marketed by McDonald’s (itself a PPI Worldwide customer), but the company has many other fast-food and food industry customers, like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé.

The company expects its customers to embrace the WakingApp technology, said Isaias Miremberg, the owner of PPI Worldwide. “The rising popularity of mobile devices and gaming with children of all ages has companies on the lookout for the right way to digitize their products to keep users engaged and sales strong.”

Where formerly a company needed to employ an army of engineers, programmers, and machine vision specialists to create an augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) app, PPI and thousands of WakingApp customers around the world can now use its plug-and-play platform to build apps that can be integrated with glasses, toys, devices, or anything else that can include a software component that can interact with the hardware.

With WakingApp, users can develop their own AR/VR apps using the company’s cloud-based ENTiTi Creator that uses plug-and-play templates and modules which, drag-and-drop style, allow anyone to build an app without any programming skills. Apps that can be created with the platform allow user app builders to develop interactive augmented reality content that includes live data feeds, personalization, social activities, high-quality 3D, games and more.

The goal of every manufacturer and agency is to increase engagement with products and build stronger brands,” said Alon Melchner, founder and president of WakingApp. “Virtual and augmented reality show great promise as a powerful method of engaging customers. By helping PPI expand their reach into the digital realm, across all of the latest devices, the ENTiTi platform is positioning PPI and its customers as industry innovators.”

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