Project Zanzibar brings kids' favorite toys to the digital world

Project Zanzibar is the brainchild of Microsoft. It is a flexible portable mat with which you can perceive and track physical objects, identify them and enable you to interact with them by manipulating your fingers using Near Field Communication technology.

To do this, you need to connect the rug to your PC or tablet. An NFC sticker must be affixed to the base for the device to perceive an object. After that, a spatial image of the object appears on the screen. If there are multiple objects, Zanzibar tracks the movement of each object and accurately identifies them, even if they are stacked on top of each other.

Project Zanzibar enables children to "transfer" their toys from physical reality to digital and see them come to life thanks to sound, visual and other special effects.

Zanzibar has not yet become a commercial product, but it seems to be a matter of time. Participants of the Conference on the Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI 2018), which will be held in Montreal at the end of this month, will be able to familiarize themselves with it.