I attended the CES Preview in New York City this summer and got to see a cool merging of app and board games, thanks to iPieces from Pressman Toy Corp
. They offer a wide variety of physical game pieces that interact with their free iPad apps.
It's a neat approach, where the best pieces (no pun intended) of each technology can be leveraged. Users can physically hold Air Hockey
sticks for example and interact with a digital puck on the iPad. The iPad app senses the physical controllers, as if by magic, and reacts accordingly.
Presumably these will work with the new iPad mini, perhaps with a software tweak to handle the different pixel size, as the touch interface detects what pixels are being activated to learn where the controller is. There is no Bluetooth or WiFi component here... Just clever touchscreen handling.
iPieces offers fishing games, pool, snakes and ladders and more
and can be found in Toys R Us and other stores, or online
. At under $13, they make a nice holiday gift for iPad owners on your list.