The satisfaction of completing a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle is relatively short-lived. True that you have managed to bring together thousands of tiny colored sweets in one poster-sized mass of loveliness, or worked your way through miles and miles of blue sky without having a nervous breakdown – but what now? Germany's Ravensburger has the answer in the form of augmented reality. The company has released new puzzles that, upon completion, can be transformed into jaw-dropping video animation and sound effects on an iPhone or iPad via a free-to-download app.
Now, Ravensburger has added digital interaction to four 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles depicting such things as a rooftop view of Paris or a mass of creatures in an undersea world.
Where once we would have had to use our imaginations to bring such scenes to life, the new augmented reality puzzles just need dissectologists to download a free app onto an iPhone or iPad 2 and point the device camera at the completed puzzle. The iDevice user can then take a virtual 360 degree tour of Paris, watch sea creatures swim around and play a bonus game, go on an animated photo safari in Africa, or make their very own Norwegian snow globe onscreen.
Ravensburger HistoryRavensburger Spieleverlag GmbH is a German game company and market leader in the European jigsaw puzzle market.
The company was founded by Otto Robert Maier with seat in Ravensburg, a town in Upper Swabia in southern Germany. He began publishing in 1883 with his first author contract. He started publishing instruction folders for craftsmen and architects, which soon acquired him a solid financial basis. His first board game appeared in 1884, named "Journey around the world".
At the turn of the 20th century, his product line broadened to include picture books, books, children’s activity books, Art Instruction manuals, non-fiction books, and reference books as well as children’s games, Happy Families and activity kits. In 1900, the Ravensburger blue triangle trademark was registered with the Imperial Patent office. As of 1912, many board and activity games had an export version that was distributed to Western Europe, the countries of the Danube Monarchy as well as Russia.
Before the First World War, Ravensburger had around 800 products. The publishing house was damaged during the Second World War and continued to produce games in the years of the reconstruction. The company focused on children's games and books and specialized books for art, architecture and hobbies, and from 1962 grew strongly. The company started to produce jigsaw puzzle games in 1964, and in the same year opened subsidiaries in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In 1977 the company split into a book publishing arm and a game publishing arm.
Today there are approximately 1,800 available books and 850 games as well as puzzles, hobby products and CD-ROM titles at Ravensburger and its subsidiaries, which include Alea for "hobby and ardent game players" and FX Schmid for games and children's books. Ravensburger products are exported to more than fifty countries.
In September 2010, Ravensburger broke Educa's record for the world's largest jigsaw puzzle of 24,000 pieces. Ravensburger's new puzzle design by late pop artist Keith Haring titled, 'Keith Haring: Double Retrospect' breaks the Guinness Book of World Records measuring 17' × 6' built from 32,256 pieces and comes with its own dolly cart for toting.