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.
Here’s a comparison table too:
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!
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