Nowadays, gaming companies are taking a step forward to translate real-world objects into digital worlds. The companies have led the ‘toys to life’ but those have only transferred proprietary products.

The team of researcher from Microsoft has come up with prototype smart playmat called “Zanzibar” that can daily life items including those that that don’t have a shred of computer tech. Zanzibar designed to blend the digital and physical worlds by sensing touch, gestures, and objects.

The researcher combines near field communication with sensing along with multitouch to imagine a future where the people could place objects on this smart mat and play games.

Zanzibar is a ‘sensing platform’, also it’s flexible, both systematically and literally. The platform simply senses the objects by placing an NFC sticker on their bottoms, which tracks them spatially and even vertically, also identifying distinct items stacked on top of each other.

The company’s video reveals several different games that track the position, orientation of objects and movement. Microsoft’s software maker demonstrates basic games for learning, programming, and augmented reality.  It seems like a platform to combine the company’s Minecraft game with real-world Lego blocks. Objects can be easily tagged with NFC stickers

The company stated that there are obvious benefits for play and learning. The team behind Zanzibar will present their findings at the ACM CHI Conference in Montreal later this month. The company eyes on education along with learning through this smart prototype. The toys and games aspect could work well in schools if it’s ever released.