We have mentioned briefly in previous articles that in the second and third wave of LEGO Ultra Agents sets there is something called AppBricks. In the January/February issue of the LEGO Club Magazine you can see what these AppBricks look like; black 1×1 bricks with standard studs on top and one side and a unique looking stud on another side. So what are AppBricks and how do they work? Let’s find it out! 🙂
According to the LEGO Ultra Agents website: “The LEGO AppBrick is a special carbon-infused LEGO brick that conducts electricity from your finger to a tablet device. The AppBricks merge physical and digital play in a new and innovative way exclusive to the Ultra Agent 2015 range. Each of the new Ultra Agents play sets comes with one or more AppBricks that can be used to build the new and cool Ultra Gadgets. As you build the AppBricks into the 2015 Ultra Gadgets and combine them with your tablet, a new and exciting world opens up. Use the AppBricks to unlock unique game features and find secret clues. With the AppBricks you have the upper hand and hold the power to defeat the supervillains and save Astor City.”
So as you can see from the description above, these bricks are made of a conductive material that allows you to interact with the touch-screen of tablet device. Basically like how tablet pens work, but the interesting thing with LEGO AppBricks is that you can integrate them into small LEGO creations and thus allow your creation to be part of the game on your tablet. See the video below for more details on how the AppBricks work:
LEGO has been experimenting with blending real LEGO bricks and virtual games. There was LEGO Life of George, then the recently released LEGO FUSION sets – all allowing you to build with LEGO bricks and integrate them into games via touch-screen devices. The idea is still in its infancy, and some of the ways the integration is implemented and the games are designed are going to work better than others. LEGO Life of George has been discontinued, and while three of the LEGO FUSION sets did get some traction, the fourth one was pulled from the market because it didn’t work very well. (You can see all the LEGO FUSION sets here.) However I’m pretty sure that the technology is here to stay and LEGO will continue improving their products in this regard. It will be through trial and error for LEGO to find the best combination that takes advantage of both real-world building and virtual fun.
The second wave of LEGO Ultra Agents sets will all include some of these new AppBricks. The smallest sets have two, the larger ones more. The summer LEGO Ultra Agents sets will also have AppBricks. So if you want to try them out and see how they work, you can keep an eye out for the new sets that will be released shortly (March for the second wave, summer for the third wave). The game itself can be downloaded at the LEGO Ultra Agents website, and you can already check out the sets under the LEGO Ultra Agents section of the Online LEGO Shop.
What do you think? Do you believe the AppBricks are a good idea? Would you like to see them in more LEGO sets to integrate them with apps and games? Or you have no interest in them? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below. 😉
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