Even though I don’t have any children, I am surrounded by quite a few of them by way of friends and family. Watching kids interact with technology fascinates me, it’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about the next wave of the Internet and gadgets.
While I was at the LAUNCH Education & Kids conference today, I saw a demo about a product called HappiTaps from the companies Tipitap and Infantino that impressed the heck out of me. The product that it showed off is called “Beary”, which is an “appcessory” which transforms a regular old iPhone or iPod Touch into a talking interactive bear. Thanks to some extremely well done apps, HappiTaps pulls it all off.
What’s interesting to me is that the product is already available in Apple Stores everywhere for just $20. The apps are free, with in-app purchases available to keep the kiddies entertained and learning important things. The games include fun with numbers and letters, as well as storytime.
Here’s a quick video with Beary, and I’ll get to more about the company afterwards:
While speaking to the team, I was impressed by how hard it is working on coming up with new ways to license toys and applications, as well as how it worked closely with Apple. You see, getting an accessory of any type into an Apple Store isn’t easy at all. You have to meet so many standards that most companies wouldn’t even come close to meeting. These folks did, though.
For example, Beary used to have a protective shield over the iPhone’s screen, but Apple wasn’t a fan of that, so the team went back and made some changes. It’s even going to start popping up in Walmart very soon.
The product is naturally drawing interest from the Android team at Google as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a version for its devices soon. I’m told that the issue with that is the variety of different devices that are produced, which makes it difficult to create a “one size fits all” accessory like this.
If you have kids, or know people who do, this thing is a steal for $20 and could turn an old device into a brand new state-of-the-art toy. Oh, and there’s a girly puppy version coming out too.
Take that, Teddy Ruxpin.