Hot Wheels Augmoto Brings AR Tech To Classic Race Track Toy Racing Fun
Playing with Hot Wheels cars and tracks use to involve linking simple pieces of orange plastic together and hoping the cars could make it through the various loops and curves you created without flying off into the air. Hot Wheels tracks have come a long way since those old school models hit the scene, however. One of the highest tech toys to ever wear the Hot Wheels badge is the new Hot Wheels Augmoto track. Augmoto takes those classic tracks we all remember from back in the day and amps things up with some fun augmented reality tech.
The Augmoto track allows the racers to control the track rather than the vehicles themselves. The track is controlled by an app that allows players to recharge their cars and switch the lanes the car is in, if their timing is perfect. The app doesn't allow any control over the speed or direction of the cars. The cars used on the Augmoto racing track have a tiny motor that spins the wheels that makes the cars go. Each charge is good for about 40 laps of racing.
When the player's car starts to slow they can take a pit stop to recharge it for up to 30 seconds at the starting gate. Recharging must be strategically planned though, because if your opponent keeps running they may break out into a big lead, because a lap of the track takes only a couple of seconds. The track also has a pair of silver loops on it and if the player can time things properly, they can send their car into the loop and gain some sort of bonus.
This is trickier than it sounds because Engadget reports that the switch is only open for about a second. If the racer is successful they are granted an attack that can be used against their opponent. These attacks are granted in the companion app and include rockets that trigger things like oil slicks or fires in the app. What happens in the real world is that the target car is held in place at the starting gate while the driver plays a mini-game on their connected device to regain control.
The mini-games require actions like tapping the screen to put out a fire. The track offers integrated challenges as well, with narrow spots meant to flick a car off the track if two cars come into the section at the same time. The app also registers each time the car passes through the starting gate and removes the racer from the track if a lap isn’t completed in a few seconds.
The basic Augmoto set will sell for $120 and includes two cars and the track. More vehicles will be offered after the track launches this fall.