In the test: Shifu Orboot - children's globe with AR app for discovering and learning

In the test: the Shifu Orboot

A few weeks ago, the manufacturer Shifu gave me the "Orboot“Sent for a test. When I read the press release on this toy, the toy sounded so interesting that I had to ask for a test device straight away.

Transparency notice

As always, the same applies here: The manufacturer made the device available to me free of charge, but did not attach any conditions to it. I write my reports honestly and openly and do not skimp on criticism when it is appropriate. But I didn't want to hide the fact that I can keep the Orboot.

However, I will raffle it to you. If you want to win it subscribe to my weekly newsletter, because I will announce the raffle there in the next few weeks.

The Shifu Orboot globe works in conjunction with the app and allows children to independently discover the animals, cultures and countries of the world (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

The Shifu Orboot globe works in conjunction with the app and allows children to independently discover the animals, cultures and countries of the world (Photo: Sir Apfelot).

What is the Shifu Orboot globe?

That is the first question, which is difficult to answer, because you shouldn't expect a globe in the usual sense. The Orboot globe is just a kind of “tool” for the app, because AR marks are attached to it, which the app recognizes and then displays the relevant information.

The whole thing works via Augmented Reality (AR), which means that the app shows you the camera image and displays icons and information about it.

If you select the "Landesküche" layer in the AR app to explore, you can see which national dishes are available in different countries around the world. A tip on it then brings more information about the dish and its production. I have included the red arrows in the picture so that you can see which objects have been added via AR (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

If you select the "Landesküche" layer in the AR app to explore, you can see which national dishes are available in different countries around the world. A tip on it then brings more information about the dish and its production. I have included the red arrows in the picture so that you can see which objects have been added via AR (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

 

Here I have called the dish "Injera" from Ethiopia. In the tabs on the right, the child can have the information read out to them and then answer a quiz question in the "Question Mark" tab. On the left is a 3D model of the national food that you can turn with your fingers.

Here I have called the dish "Injera" from Ethiopia. In the tabs on the right, the child can have the information read out to them and then answer a quiz question in the "Question Mark" tab. On the left is a 3D model of the national food that you can turn with your fingers.

As you can see, most of the "action" happens in the app. By the way, Shifu himself describes the Orboot like this:

The Orboot Globus and its app take the child on an augmented reality journey around the world. Funny. Interactive. Educational.

And yes, that works out quite well, but more on that later.

Shifu Orboot is not a normal globe

Without the app, the globe is a bit boring as it is very minimalistic. But as I said: If you want a real globe that contains country borders, city names and country names and the like, you should get the alldoro Lexi globe view (32 cm diameter, with lighting, relief and suitable smartphone app).

The Orboot app is available in 9 different languages ​​- there should also be something suitable for children who grow up bilingually.

The Orboot app is available in 9 different languages ​​- there should also be something suitable for children who grow up bilingually.

What makes the Shifu globe different?

The really "big" thing about the Shifu Orboot are definitely the apps that you get for free with the Orboot. The following should be mentioned here:

I tried the Orboot Earth App and it will be presented in more detail in a moment.

The Orboot Parent App is like a "meta-app" with which I can follow the children's progress if I want. I didn't like it though.

And I haven't tried the Orboot Dino AR app, but it is probably an app with which you can research which dinosaurs lived where in the world. As a goodie, you can also put dinosaurs in your living room, garden or anywhere else via AR and then take a photo to impress your friends with the new fake pet.

In the main menu you can choose which game you want to start.

In the main menu you can choose which game you want to start. The "tour" works, for example, without the Orboot globe.

This is how the Orboot Earth app works

First of all: You can also install the app on the iPhone, but that's not fun anyhow. Everything is too small and fiddly and it is also difficult to operate. If you want to use the app, the best thing to do is to use an iPad.

I don't know the apps from the other globes, but I can promise one thing about the Orboot app: It is extremely extensive and versatile. You can specify an age for each child when setting up the account and the app adapts the questions and knowledge areas to this age group as the game continues.

By specifying the age in the child's profile, the app can adjust the level of difficulty of the tasks and quiz questions.

By specifying the age in the child's profile, the app can adjust the level of difficulty of the tasks and quiz questions.

Once the setup is done, starting the app takes you to the main menu, in which you can choose between four areas:

AR Explore

There are no specifications here, but you can search the Orboot globe with the camera and tap on the small figures and objects that pop up. This opens information windows about these maps, cultures, inventions, countries, sights, animals, local cuisine or whatever you have chosen as a topic.

In the information window there is always a 3D model of the corresponding "thing" that you are currently looking for and a child's voice tells you something about it. When you've heard everything, you can click a question mark icon and answer a multiple choice question. This question always includes knowledge that has been read out beforehand. You have so many attempts until you have chosen the correct answer.

Tour

In the "Tour" area you can explore the world without having to use the Orboot globe. After selecting the menu item, you come to another submenu in which you can choose between the subjects "Animals", "Maps" and "Cultures". All of these areas lead to a spherical view that you can rotate in all directions with your finger movements and zoom in with the pitch gesture.

So-called "highlights" are applied to the sphere as 3D objects that can be touched to find out more about them. Here, too, a child's voice reads the information displayed, but there is no question of knowledge about the individual highlights. Instead, you collect small “successes” with the tours that you can find in your suitcase. If you have enough success on a topic, you will receive a badge.

Which badges are available and how far you have come with the individual badges can also be seen in the submenu that can be reached via the travel case.

To motivate the kids, there are successes that can be unlocked.

To motivate the kids, there are successes that can be unlocked. You can do this either by solving quiz questions, by calling up information or by visiting sights and countries.

 

In the game mode "Secrets" you experience stories with the main character Shifu, in the course of which you have to find certain things in the world. A little discovery game that is not too difficult due to the clues.

In the game mode "Secrets" you experience stories with the main character Shifu, in the course of which you have to find certain things in the world. A little discovery game that is not too difficult due to the clues.

secrets

In this area you will find 9 little puzzle stories that you have to solve with the iPad and the Orboot globe. In the stories, the boy “Shifu” is the main character who chases little clues and thus comes around the world. Here you have to find the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower or similar objects, for example, and scan the globe with the app. The app then recognizes that it has been found and the story continues.

In itself it's done very nicely, but if you close the app in between and want to continue with a story later, it starts all over again. There is also no way to fast forward. This can quickly make a child lose interest.

Otherwise the implementation is done very nicely. A hint button can also be used to get tips on where to find the relevant item.

I think it would be great if Orboot would add new stories here with an update every now and then.

If you have found something you are looking for in the story, you will be rewarded with applause.

If you have found something you are looking for in the story, you will be rewarded with applause.

Quiz Wiz

If you have already worked your way through Orboot's knowledge areas, you can try the Quiz Wiz. You can choose between the subjects of animals, sights, cultures, inventions, maps and national kitchens and are then asked multiple choice questions. If you don't know the answer, you can look for the corresponding picture on the Orboot globe and get the information read out again.

In the lower area you can see the difficulty of the question and the number of asterisks you get for the correct answer. With every wrong answer, one of the asterisks is removed, preventing you from guessing.

Example question: What is the name of the Austrian national dish?
Possible answers: Wiener Schnitzel, Bundt Buiskuit Cake, Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry cake) or Chajá.

Would you have known? ;-)

With every correct answer, a success lands in the suitcase again, so that the children have a little motivation to take part in the quiz.

The questions in the Quiz WIz area are all related to information that can be discovered via the AR app while exploring. If you don't know the solution, you can select "Search on Orboot" and you will then find a hint in the app when you have found the appropriate place on the globe.

The questions in the Quiz WIz area are all related to information that can be discovered via the AR app while exploring. If you don't know the solution, you can select "Search on Orboot" and you will then find a hint in the app when you have found the appropriate place on the globe.

Country sticker, passport and stamp included

The passport that comes with the Globus is also a nice idea. The child can fill this out himself and stamp each country and put a sticker on it. My daughter jumped at it and wanted to glue in and stamp the countries - of course without visiting them with the app beforehand. ????

Unfortunately, a sticker also landed on the Orboot globe and has not yet come off. I will try grandma’s secret trick with sunflower oil during the days. It might work to remove the sticker without damaging the globe.

Criticism and praise for the Shifu Orboot

First of all, great praise, because the overall package of Orboot Globus and app is really successful. The app is incredibly extensive and has certainly devoured quite a lot of money in the development.

The more than 4000 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4,5 stars already show that Orboot has done a lot right here. The nice sound effects and background music are well done and make playing with the app pleasant. And the idea with the suitcase and the successes are very good - you can really get most of the children to do something on the Orboot every now and then.

The more you play, the more of the successes are gradually filled. Unfortunately, I have not yet found out what can be done with the coins and diamonds that have been won.

The more you play, the more of the successes are gradually filled. Unfortunately, I have not yet found out what can be done with the coins and diamonds that have been won.

In my opinion, there are still a few small things that could be improved:

  • The girl's voice, who reads everything aloud, is "child-friendly", but after a few minutes it is also a bit annoying because it is so high. As an alternative, a deep, warm male voice would be nice.
  • In the suitcase you can achieve successes, collect coins and gems. The question is: what for? I still haven't figured out what to do with the coins and gems? I think it would be great if there were little games in the game that could be unlocked with them.
  • The wording in some of the explanations may be overwhelming for some children. If, for example, it is said that a hot air balloon festival in city XY with 25 million photos is the most frequently photographed event, then most children should not be clear who took the 25 million photos. Something like that would have to be explained in a more child-friendly way. in another description I heard that the area would be about 134 hectares. I think no child knows what an acre is. If you were to say instead that the area is as large as 187 football fields next to each other, many children should have a rough idea of ​​how big this actually is.
  • Operation in AR mode has sometimes been a challenge for me. Rotating and typing the iPad in one hand and with the other on the globe should not be easy for small children's hands. Especially since you always wobble while typing and thus the icons on the screen change position as the camera orientation changes. I don't know how to solve the problem now, but maybe the programmer can come up with a way to freeze the picture when something is found that you want to tap.
  • In "Secrets" mode, progress in a story is not saved. It would be great if that could be retrofitted.

But that would end my criticism. Actually, there is a lot that is very okay about the Shifu Orboot ...

With the Orboot globe there are also other play parts, which are not important for the use. But my daughter thought it was great that she could insert stickers and stamps into her passport.

With the Orboot globe there are also other play parts, which are not important for the use. But my daughter thought it was great that she could insert stickers and stamps into her passport.

My conclusion on the Shifu Orboot

I read in the Amazon reviews that someone was upset about the “poor” quality of the globe. There wouldn't even be any national borders.

When I read something like this, it is immediately clear to me: the person did not understand the concept of the Orboot, because the national borders can be seen in the app. The globe is really just a vehicle to link the app with reality. And from my point of view that worked out quite well.

The view with the 3D objects on the virtual globe is an eye-catcher and the globe with the many animals that you can click on invites you to want to learn a little more about the individual animals.

I would recommend the Orboot Globus to parents whose children are at least 8 to a maximum of 12 years old. In this age range, the information is not too difficult to understand, nor is it boring. And the kids should have fun playing with the Orboot.

I think it could be a nice last-minute Christmas present for little explorers who don't lose patience too quickly when they have texts read aloud for 1 or 2 minutes. If you want to buy the Orboot Globe, you will find it here at Amazon.

Do you have nice interactive educational games at home? Then leave me your recommendation. I like to look at other devices and apps to present them on the blog.

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