Often it seems technology makes things too easy and automated; no human intellect is needed. On the other hand, it is with creativity and innovation that technology exists, and because of its existence many find their imaginations unlocked. Technology becomes a tool, a method, that is used to take what we imagine and make it into something tangible for the world to see.

Evolving technology in film is something we can all appreciate. Without the imagination of filmmakers and their creative use of technology, we wouldn’t have movies like Beauty and the Beast, Titanic, the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Toy Story, Inside Out, Iron Man, and many other films that have marvelled the audience’s mind.  Paired with technology, filmmakers bring what they envision to the big screen for the audience to have a real experience of a film, and to tell the story they want to tell with no compromises. The advancement of technology has brought on new roles in the film industry and new possibilities to stretch the imagination of creative thinkers.

This creativity doesn’t start just anywhere; it starts with imagination. One of Walt Disney’s most famous quotes is, “If you can dream it you can do it.” How powerful is that? Every child has the ability to do whatever they want, and in technology they are able to explore the dream even further. Kind of like Howard Stark’s message to Tony in Iron Man 2: “I’m limited by the technology of my time, but one day you’ll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is and always will be my greatest creation… is you.” In the 21st century, to unlock a child’s imagination is to provide them with the right tools and the basic building blocks of technology.

During the Life and Tech Exhibit at Dundas Square hosted by Best Buy Canada, many companies exhibited their latest designs in gadgets and tools; everything from fitness trackers to fashionable fitness trackers, multiple virtual reality goggles to health devices, was there. But Osmo was the one company that featured products that used technology to teach children to use their imaginations through creative play.

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As with many technological children’s toys, an iPad was present. However, the genius of Osmo is how it marries the physical with the digital. The idea behind their program is “beyond the screen.” In front of the iPad were many coloured pieces, some from a tangram, some numbers and letters, with a smattering of other pieces. After fiddling around for a while, the pieces corresponded with the iPad program, creating a captivating way of playing and learning simultaneously over a scope of topics.

The beauty of Osmo is the simplicity of designing a platform where children’s creativity is challenged. The games and programs of Osmo are not new, but how children can interact with the platform and receive feedback are. It challenges children to use multiple senses to express their intellect and creativity. Beyond the program and platform, Osmo teaches children to express what we have always known children to have: creativity and imagination leading to great designs. Integrating digital technology and physical learning together leads to developing better expressions of design and art. More and more, neither technology nor physical experience is better, but rather the blending of both creates a superior human experience in all artistic expression.

Osmo’s programs are allowing children to learn the basics of design, mathematics, coding, and language, so as they progress in their exploration they are able produce products, stories, and programs that we have yet to dream of. Technology has a place in design, in enhancing and accelerating possibilities, and it serves to bring what we imagine in ourselves to life.

Best Buy Canada’s annual Life and Tech Exhibit only provides a glimpse into where technology is taking us. By designing tools and toys that encourage children to explore their imaginations and allows them to further develop their artistic mind, we are setting the stage for great, future creations.