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Toy companies show off new technologies at CES

Posted at 12:05 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 15:05:26-05

Toy and game companies from all over the world came to CES in Las Vegas to show off the newest ways to play.

Here's a look at what's out right now, and what playtime could look like in the future:

1. Merge

The Merge Cube is a toy that uses augmented reality (AR) technology similar to "Pokemon Go." If you look at the toy through a phone, it appears as if you're holding a hologram in your hand.

Since it was introduced last year, there have been several apps developed for the Cube. The apps range from puzzle games to interactive stories, and even educational 3D models.

Merge also announced their 6DoF Blaster, which uses similar technology to make the user feel like they're in an action movie. You place your smartphone inside the blaster, plug your headphones in, and watch the screen of your phone to play the game.

The character in the game follows the movements of the Blaster, and since the game is in a 1st-person perspective, it feels as though the real world has transformed into a digital arena.

You'll be able to find the 6DoF Blaster in stores this fall.  

2. DropMix

DropMix was created Harmonix, the company behind the "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" video games, as well as Hasbro.

Players use an electronic pad and a custom set of playing cards to create music. Placing a card on the pad adds a layer of music to the mix, and taking a card off the device removes it. You can also use your phone or tablet to adjust the mix, kind of like a DJ, and there are a few competitive games included to play with your friends.

The music itself contains samples from Skrillex, Childish Gambino, Ed Sheeran, Carly Rae Jepsen, Weezer, The Chainsmokers, and much more. Harmonix hopes to have over 300 samples by fall 2018.

3. Voxel

Developed by Scale-1 Portal, Voxel is a virtual reality (VR) arcade that doesn't require a headset. Instead, the user is surrounded by a screen and given 3D glasses, making it appear as if they're inside a video game.

Games include titles like "Future Runner" and "Punch Beat." You use your body as the controller in Voxel, so you'll be ducking and weaving to avoid incoming obstacles in "Future Runner," and punching bubbles to the rhythm of the music in "Punch Beat."

Voxel is available in select arcades and entertainment venues in the U.S. and Europe, and the company is hoping to expand more in 2018.