Your typical Hot Wheels car is 100 percent powered by imagination. But we’re at the point where you can cram a lot of technology into a 1:64-scale toy car, which is what the creators of Pocket Racing have done to bring these tiny rides to life as they interact with a new iPad game.
Inside the toy cars, which are roughly the same size as a Hot Wheels, you’ll find a set of color-changing LEDs, as well as three pistons that can hop up and down with varying intensities. On the underside of each car is also a light sensor that picks up visual signals from the Pocket Racing 2.0 game when the cars are placed on an iPad’s screen.
In response to the action going on in the game, the tiny car’s lights will flash and its moving pistons will make the vehicle appear to bounce around. In the event of a crash, or total destruction, the car’s body will even be ejected into the air, clearly signalling it’s game over.
It’s a clever use of relatively cheap and simple technologies to bring a new gameplay element to toy cars as well as iPad racing games.
You can’t buy them just yet, though, because Pocket Racing 2.0 is launching via a $50,000 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The app will be free on iOS and Android, but not as enjoyable without the animated cars that can be pre-ordered with a $38 early bird pledge. That’s a far cry from the 0.99 cent Hot Wheels cars you grew up with, and doesn’t include the tablet you’ll need to already have on hand for the game and cars to run on.