iPads and video games are great but there's no form of childhood entertainment more beloved than the bedtime story. Now, a team of designers from the Netherlands is combining all of these things, digitizing a centuries-old tradition. They've launched TexTales, which uses image recognition software to create holograms on bedsheets and pillow cases. Parents, or self-starting kids, hold up a TexTales-enabled tablet or smart phone and see 3-D characters and other imagery projected onto the sheets.
The current sheet set features fairytale forests, and the accompanying software allows parents to tell stories loosely based around Little Red Riding Hood. (3-D images include the wolf, granny, and a row of sprightly flowers).
But project originator, Kristi Kuusk, hopes that TexTales will "trigger parents to tell stories from their own life experience. "Parents are supposed to use their creative mind in constructing the story and build it up together with the children," she says.
TexTales also has deep cultural roots. Kuusk was initially inspired by traditional folk garments from Estonia, "where every stripe on the skirt meant something and each item had a certain story to tell," she says.
And aside from giving these traditions a 21st-century update, Kuusk points out that TexTales can be advantageous for parents, whose kids put up a fuss at bedtime. "Kids want to go to bed if they know their fairy tale friends are waiting from them," she says. The team has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to develop new stories for the product.