Swindon father and son duo, Keith and Ben Milburn, have created what is set to be the answer to every parent’s dream this Christmas – Tizzy the augmented reality elf.
Tizzy comes to your house, dances and takes selfies with you and best of all, no imagination is required! Keith and Ben have done it all for you in their revolutionary new augmented reality app for smartphones.
They both have a love of all things tech, from augmented and virtual reality, to apps and tech that enhance day-to-day life and learning experiences.
With a lot of pestering from Ben over a couple of Christmases, Keith finally gave in the following year and bought him an Elf on the Shelf. The following 24 days were a mixture of fun, stress and dread when he realised he had occasionally forgotten to position the elf. So come January he decided there must be a better way.
Combining Keith’s passion for AR and Ben’s love of Christmas, the idea of Tizzy was born.
Keith said, “I wanted to create something that was even more fun than a ‘real’ elf. Also, an experience kids could lead, have fun with and learn from – not to mention something myself and my wife didn’t need to stress over!
“We’ve created Tizzy using Augmented Reality, which means that you can see what appears to be a real elf, arriving through a secret door in any wall of your house, jumping out, dancing and getting up to all sorts of mischief via any Android or Apple smart device. For my son, this left the toy elf collecting dust on the shelf!”
Ben said, “Dad had some good ideas, but he didn’t know what us kids really want to see, so I made sure Tizzy’s dancing wasn’t cringe and that she looked like a real elf.”
Children can interact with Tizzy, take cheeky photos of the elf in funny places and soon there will also be sections on the app for colouring in. Keith also plans to develop the app each year, adding new functionality and harnessing the power of ever-evolving AR tech. Learning elements are planned in too and it appeals to children (and parents!) of all ages.
Tizzy has been subject to a small beta testing group of local parents that have all given it excellent feedback. They have been able to help shape the app and get it ready for launch.
Keith is urging all his fellow parents in Swindon and Wiltshire to support his mission to get Tizzy travelling around the UK, starting with his hometown. He wants to help bring smiles to their kids’ faces whenever they interact and play with the elf. The advantage of an app means it can be accessed whenever they like, so it’s not just for December either.
Head to facebook.com/TizzyTheElf to keep up to date with Tizzy news and you can download Tizzy the Elf app via the Android or Apple app stores, which will be half price from 1st December for two weeks only.
Pictured above: Keith and Ben Milburn