App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
JigSpace App Poster Image
Cool virtual models for learning; AR has limitations.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids learn about variety of topics, including engineering, biology, geology, history, design.

Ease of Play

Easy to browse/navigate; viewing objects with the AR may be frustrating for younger kids.

Violence & Scariness

Some images of real/imaginary weapons (tanks, lightsabers) and general descriptions of war.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that JigSpace is an augmented reality (AR) educational experience where kids explore 3D models. The app involves a lot of reading, and some descriptions may be too advanced for younger kids. Younger kids may also struggle with the fine-motor skills to pinch, zoom, and rotate in the 3D environment. There were no in-app purchases at time of review, but there may be some added at a later date. There are links to Facebook, Twitter, and email within the app. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

JIGSPACE is like a digital encyclopedia, introducing new concepts to kids via 3D models called Jigs. Kids choose a topic -- anything from "How a Battery Works" to a Lego TIE fighter build to "What Is a Heart Stent?" -- and open it for viewing. They'll need to aim the device camera at a flat location to start the augmented reality experience. Once this step is complete, a 3D model will appear on-screen, and kids can scroll through a series of informational screens to learn more about the topic. The screens may show cross-sections or additional views of the object or location. Kids can also zoom in and out, rotate the object, and look at it from above and below. 

Is it any good?

The ability to zoom in and look around an object or see a cross-section of an object creates a great learning opportunity, but augmented reality still has limitations. JigSpace certainly brings some topics to life, especially those that can't easily be viewed, like a cross-section of the heart, or a blocked artery. It's a chance to look inside and get a bit more detail. Kids can turn objects, zoom in and out, and see a progression of screens, but it's still not interactive in the way they're used to: It's like watching a 3D slideshow rather than truly engaging with the images. But kids will likely find this a much more entertaining way to learn than staring at a textbook. AR requires a room with enough ambient light to take a picture of a surface, and then it orients the device to that surface. It sometimes means viewing an object with distracting activity in the background or via an awkward camera angle. Most kids won't be bothered by that, however, so JigSpace is still a win, especially for teaching scientific and technological concepts. It will be an even larger win when they release the ability to create your own Jigs. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how things work in and out of JigSpace. Talk about household objects and how they work. If there are old items that can safely be disassembled, take them apart to see what's inside. 

  • Discuss using digital images to learn. How can the use of digital images change how we learn about science and engineering? Are there things you have learned that you couldn't have without the use of digital technology?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love STEM and augmented reality

Themes & Topics

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