What happens when you combine a popular first-person shooter like Call of Duty with toy guns like Nerf? You get the Tek Recon, a new product that takes what we loved about those blaster guns as a kid and mashes in some modern twists that can only be delivered with the rise in popularity of smartphones. It certainly looks like an interesting way for kids (or adults) to get outside and play with their friends.
The Tek Recon system starts in the form of its two blasters – the pistol-looking Hammerhead and the larger, more assault rifle-like Havok. Each one offers actual recoil to give playing a more lifelike feel.
Each of the blasters fire specially designed mess-free and reusable "NRG Rounds." These are soft, so they won't do any damage, and they can fire up to 75 feet (23 m) from either of the two blasters. The reason the soft rounds are able to travel so far is that they are stretched while inside the blaster. This gives them plenty of force to fly out of the gun at a high rate of speed.
Of course, what really makes Tek Recon stand out in the crowded toy market is the integration with its iOS and Android application. The app uses both mobile and GPS technology to make playing with the system feel more like a video game than real life.
While in play, the app serves as sort of a heads-up display (HUD). Players can see how much ammo is left in their blaster, access different vision modes such as night vision and a heat sensing view, and even an on-screen chat for talking some smack during the game with players not within earshot. It also features radar that will show the location of enemies and teammates.
Much like video games, the app lets players create game loadouts, including the scope, sound effects, and in-game powerups.
The app offers several features designed to enhance the play experience. Perhaps the most interesting is the ability to use it set up game modes such as capture the flag, with an actual scannable flag, as well as team and solo battles. This means instead of simply running around shooting each other, players will be forced to use tactics.
Tek Recon is seeking funding for its blasters and integrated app on Kickstarter. It is currently at just over US$40,000, which puts it pretty close to its $50,000 goal. It still has 11 days left in its funding period, so the company has some time to meet the goal. The minimum backing of $25 buys the Hammerhead, 15 rounds, a smartphone mount, and the application. From there, the price goes up for the Havok and packs of multiple blasters.
The following Kickstarter pitch video provides more information and shows the Tek Recon system in action.