Occasionally, when people shout “brains!” they’re not zombies looking for a fresh meal. Sometimes they just want to help you grow, learn, and be the best you can be.
Which, of course, is exactly what all parents want for their kids.
Seven months after launching the Fit Brains app to help adults build their mental capacity, Vivity Labs is coming for the kids. Fit Brains: Sparky’s Adventures launches today in the app store complete with 200 scientifically designed brain-training games, all created just for kids ages 2-7.
The app has already helped adults around the world boost their memories by 245 percent and increase their ability to concentrate by 260 percent, the company says, which has helped propel it to No. 1 status in Apple’s education channel in more than 90 countries.
That’s more than 3.5 million downloads.
“We’re applying the same science to kids, but wrapping it in more of a Disney-kind of environment,” cofounder and CEO Michael Cole told me today. “Just like your arms have biceps and triceps, and your legs have quads, your brain has multiple ‘muscles.’ We focus on five ‘muscle-groups’ in the brain: memory, speed, concentration, visual, and problem-solving.”
That science was built into the app by Cole’s cofounder, Dr. Paul Nussbaum, who is a neuropsychologist with over 50 peer-reviewed articles. He’s has designed the games together with gaming industry veteran Mark Baxter of Gnosis Games to ensure both fun and learning, and the company has tested the games at schools around North America.
Based on almost 65,000 worldwide reviews averaging 4.5 stars, he’s succeeded.
But the company now has so much data on brain training — and its results — that it has just hired a new neuroscience Ph.D simply to study trends in how people are improving. Even the early data shows that regular users improve their “brain index,” a measure of brain health and ability, by 210 percent.
“We all have our strengths, and people have a tendency to focus on their strengths — we want to feel good about ourselves,” Cole told me. “So we try to cue the games up and package them together so you’re working on all the areas.”
This is one game you might actually want your kids to play.
“We wanted to provide value to parents, giving insight into how their kids are doing,” Cole says. “We also provide a benchmark, so parents can see if their kids are ahead or behind, and what steps they can take to keep improving. I haven’t seen anything else like it.”
The adult version of the app is currently used by adults who want to increase their mental agility, maintain their brain capacity as they age, depression-sufferers who credit the app with keeping them functioning, and concussion victims who are painfully returning to full capability.
The new kids version can help children as young as two start building the brain they need to go to school and succeed.