Consumer robotics company MECO, eyeing a lucrative toy market in the Middle East and Africa, launched its flagship product at GITEX Global recently held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
According to the latest report published by Research and Markets, the gaming market in the region was valued at AED 26 billion last year and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% annually until 2027 due to a growing population and rising single-use income.
Sneh Vaswani, co-founder and CEO of Mico, a global leader in AI-powered children’s education and entertainment.
Vaswani, who spoke on the event panel on building and expanding ultra-high-growth companies, sees the huge opportunities in the region’s gaming market as the next stage of the company’s growth plans, following recent launches in Europe, China and Australia.
The move comes shortly after the company acquired a majority stake in Square Off, which will enable it to expand its product portfolio beyond the AI-powered robot companions that have made it a global market leader. The acquisition is the latest in a series of strategic moves from Miku, after signing a strategic partnership with Paramount Consumer Products as well as launching the official Disney app, the first baby robot brand to do so.
Strong consumer spending
Vaswani is optimistic about the company’s prospects in the region, particularly in the UAE market, where consumer spending on games has reached a high of AED 4 billion in 2020, and is expected to rise 6.2% annually.
With the growth of e-commerce and high internet penetration in the region, especially in the Gulf countries, Mico sees the market as full of opportunities. It has partnered with Exertis MENA as its exclusive distributors in the Middle East and is currently available on several e-commerce platforms as well as retail outlets such as Virgin Megastores and Dubai Duty Free.
“There is certainly strong overall demand for toys, but our optimism is also driven by Miku’s unique features that make it so special in the market. It is more than just a toy, it is a robotic companion that engages, teaches and entertains children. It creates a personalized learning experience and an educational journey for children,” explained Vaswani.
Take advantage of advanced technologies
Powered by deep learning AI and advanced emotional intelligence, Miko 3 has the ability to understand children and express different emotions, and every interaction with children builds trust and positively impacts young learners.
The future is bright
While Vaswani is excited about his company’s prospects in the Middle East, he is even more inspired by what the future holds for advancements in artificial intelligence and children’s learning. “These days, powerful machines and robots can understand feelings, build personality profiles and adapt to human personality. But technology is constantly evolving, and as it constantly evolves, we will move towards a stage where technology can be our partners in co-creation, which will be a major milestone because we are now in the process Enabling children to participate in the creation of art or music,” he is excited.
Enabling children to experience the power of AI at an early stage, according to Vaswani, will set the playing field for education and access to technology, which he strongly believes will have a positive impact on human society.
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