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Hands-on review: Osmo Genius Starter Kit

14 Aug 2020

Almost every household has an iPad these days. Osmo is a unique product that turns iPads into the perfect tool to entertain children while teaching them. With the help of Techday’s favourite child Avi, I was able to test out the Osmo Genius Kit. 

What is in the box

The Osmo Genius starter kit comes in a compact and well put together box. The box includes the Osmo base and the Osmo reflector for the iPad, Tangram pieces, Numbers Tiles, and Words Tiles all in these stackable storage boxes. The box also has instructions on how to get you started. The only thing that is not included is obviously an iPad. 

The Osmo base and reflector fit a wide range of iPads. I was surprised that the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is actually not supported. That was a little disappointing, as the 12.9-inch iPad is my device of choice. That said - even though Osmo is fun even for an adult, it is really targeted at kids. Chances are, parents do not buy their kids aged 6 to 10 a 12.9-inch iPad pro. 

It is important to state that the quality of everything in the box was top notch. Every piece has a weight to it and is very sturdy. 

How it works

Osmo is an interesting product because it takes something that is two dimensional, like an iPad, and makes it interact with the surface in front of it. After you download the Osmo App and then create an account, the next steps are simple. The Osmo account gives parents insight on how long the kid is spending on Osmo, what games they are playing, and their progress. 

To play a game, you must download the application that is associated with that game. While this is not a massive inconvenience, I would suggest that parents do the set up in advance before giving the kit to their child. 

Out of the box, this kit gives access to 5 games: Numbers, Words, Tangram, Newton and Masterpiece. The first three are played with the pieces from the kit, while the last two do not require any parts. Additional games can be purchased by the parent from the Osmo Account.

The games and their ease of use

Each game focuses on a different set of skills. Numbers, for example, uses square tiles with numbers on one side and a certain number of dots on the other side. These are then used to play games that focus on counting, addition and even multiplication. There are levels which will keep the kids involved to keep playing and beat the next level. 

After enjoying these games for longer than I am willing to admit, we had our resident 6-year-old reviewer Avi take a try. I was interested to see how easy it will be for him to open the games and play them. We were pleasantly surprised with the result. Within a few minutes, he was playing games, switching between them, and having a great time while learning. He was having too much fun that he did not care he was learning which is the ultimate success for a product like Osmo. 

Verdict

Osmo is an innovative product that achieves something very important: it gives kids hours of interactive educative fun. If I was a parent, I would definitely get my child the rest of the kits - especially the artistic and the coding ones!