100% Funding is in our laser sights, and we still have 2 weeks to run – the AppTag laser blaster is getting close to reality! It was a very exciting day at AppTag laser frag headquarters today! AppTag got a big mention on Uncrate this morning which caused quite a reaction onTwitter. And hot off the press… a great write up on Gizmag – it’s all happening!
Here’s a great idea – you can save some dollars and have some awesome fun too! Maybe get some friends together to do a group buy – our most popular deals are the 2 and 4 pack, we even have people buying bigger numbers to resell.
AppTag is going to have some excellent arcade style games, but it is going to be terrific for big wide open warfare – imagine playing a shooter game across a whole city!
Thanks to our wonderful backers we have jumped 20% in just 2 days and I really appreciate it.
First shot below shows screen one of our arcade game for single player. An AR marker is placed on the floor, wall or where ever, spiders hatch out of the floor and you have to shoot them before they jump onto your phone – you can see the spiders in the shot, and an iPod mounted into our AppTag clamp (ignore the small stainless blot, that is for testing only and won’t be in production.
Second screen is not quite as clear, but shows the Laser Tag game as it stands at the moment, Lots more gameplay work to do on this one! I didn’t have a suitable target, so its a plastic dragon
Here are a few thoughts that I want to share about our design for the AppTag
The thought process on the high freq sound was:
1. Bluetooth and wifi are expensive to implement in toy, consume batteries, painful to setup for kids
2. adding a wired headphone cable seems like a good idea except you cannot use the speaker or microphone for walky talky and sound effects on the phone, it’s also a bit of a pain to ensure that the cord doesn’t damage the phone if it is bumped.
3. Audible sound is infuriating for parents, and gives your position away!
4. High frequency sound outside human hearing allows for simple controls, all smartphones have a microphone, it’s forward and back compatible. No interference from outside noises, spectrum is largely empty in range we use. Pets and babies etc not effected, since volume is very low.
Why have we gone for a clamp, rather than an enclosure?
1. Forward and back compatibility with all smartphone shapes and sizes
2. Doesn’t block the camera position, Android phones have lots of camera positions.
3. Probably the best reason: You do not need to remove your case! so it can be protected – our family has a no case removal policy for the kids iPods!
Toy companies have gone with a closed software system that means developers will not be able to develop for the toy. We have an open SDK (soon) so the toy can be expanded.
We’ve still got 32 days to go, wbut already 38% funded after just 5 days, LOVE kickstarter!
Kickstarter is going to disrupt a lot of businesses! Previously an inventor like me would pitch inventions, then the toy company has a bunch of committee meetings, they then decide to evaluate it with an option, if they then proceed they offer a small prepayment and an eventual 5% royalty on wholesale. They cover all marketing and manufacture. Inventors can do really well with the right toy!
Now with Kickstarter, I can develop an idea and do the same work as I pitch to the toy companies (create a movie and do a presentation). I then upload it to Kickstarter – where thousands of people evaluate the product! Real customers put there money down if it is good!
So for example with the jaja pressure sensitive stylus (which we pitched as a kids coloring in toy) we have now had over 1000 backers, and raised enough to do the tooling and final development work ourselves – we own the IP, and we can sell direct online for a cheaper price with a greater margin.
I mean look at the Nerf toy – they are selling for $40 and wont be available until August – we’ll be sending ours out in June and you can get one for just $25, and we make the margin rather than the 5% royalty, it pays for our production and everyone is happy!
AppTag Laser Blaster – Real World First Person Shooter!
AppTag Laser Blaster brings first person shooter console gameplay to smartphones in the real world. Obviously, as with any blaster toy, the object is to shoot your friends! The AppTag does the shooting and the smartphone keeps score and tracks everything else, the App even adds Augmented Reality objects such as medkits, armour, weapons and ammo packs!
For targeting we use a focused infrared beam and sensor for the ‘laser’ so it’s totally safe. Each unit has an IR sender and receiver, and the AppTag unit works together with an attached smartphone or iPod Touch
The JaJa was 261% funded through Kickstarter in the end, and we are really happy with the process. The JaJa Stylus Kickstarter program is still up, but preorders will be taken through our own site from now on.
Wow! That was fast, AppTag is now 20% funded in a touch over 48 hours. It took jaja 14 days to get to the same stage. From the feedback I am getting there are a lot of imaginative people out there wanting to write some amazing apps! There are even more who want a quality toy with great gameplay for their kids and themselves.