AppTag Update ~90% Funded

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.

AppTag Apps for laser tag and arcade games

A couple of updates for our Kickstarter project.

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 :-)

apptag_spiders_laser_tag_game.jpg

 

apptag_laser_tag_game

 

AppTag in the News

AppTag mentioned in PCMag.com Cool Kickstarter Projects.

Urban Taggers – These guys *know* about such things!

Mashable “Is this 2012’s Hottest Toy?” “iPhones aren’t cool. You know what’s cool? Shooting your friends with your iPhone, mounted into a laser blaster.”

The Australian Newspaper – great summary article about all my projects

Twitter Users in General “Gotta Get, Must get, Want want want, coolest Kickstarter project I’ve seen – and lots of other great feedback! :-)

Design Thinking for AppTag

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.
Compare this enclosure to our simple clamp!
Here’s a comparison table too:
AppTag laser blaster comparison to Nerf Lazer Tag.png

 

AppTag 38% Funded – LOVE @Kickstarter

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 LaserBlaster

Speaking of mini sites, we now have www.laserblaster.com up, it redirects straight to the Kickstarter program but when (if) AppTag is funded it will redirect to a sales page.

AppTag Laser Blaster

 

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

AppTag Laser Blaster

JaJa Stylus

Finally got our mini site for the JaJa stylus up, I don’t have much there at present, but it will be  apre-order page soon.

JaJa Pressure Sensitive Stylus

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.

 

AppTag 20% Funded in 48 Hours!

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. :-)

Here’s a chart from Kickstarter

20120210-074847.jpg

AppTag on Mashable

Got some love from mashable this morning.

In fact it was a pretty glowing critigue of our toy vs the Hasbro product!

Its nice for a seasoned reporter to take a closer look at our toy and compare it favorably to a similar attempt from a huge toy company!

Read the article her: AppTag compared to Lazer tag

Here’s our video too: