Google designs educational app for children, allowing users to play as a 500ft Yeti
Google have designed an educational and interactive game, using Google Maps Street View as a way for children to explore the Himalayas.
If at this point, you’re thinking “How am I supposed to travel across the Himalayas, an area that spans around one million km²?” Look no further: with Verne (the 500-foot-tall Yeti), you can travel up Mt Everest in seconds, skate icy lakes, fly hang gliders off the summit of Everest and make friends with yaks.
The educational aspect of this app is introduced by a disembodied voice that calls out facts when you reach certain points on the map. It’s a little strange (to be a virtual Yeti flying a jetpack), but the information is far from mundane. Plus the objective of the app is not to turn players into hardcore Himalaya enthusiasts, but to make learning fun and accessible.
Unfortunately, this cool little app is currently only available on Android devices. Although this appears to be a successful move by Google in creating a game that strikes the right balance between fun and education, it has not yet confirmed whether this app marks the beginning of a range of educational apps based on Google Maps Street View.
Google isn’t the first company to attempt to harness fun apps as educational tools. Apple has been pushing the use of tablets in classrooms as the next stage of evolution in education, while Intel has previously launched an online gaming education platform for teachers and students. Whether or not Google’s Yeti will be a success in teaching children about the Himalayas remains to be seen.