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Little Heroes Technologies is unveiling Herokins wearable smart toys that connect parents and kids via shared learning adventures.
The San Francisco company has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the new education technology wearables. With Herokins, parents can create StoryQuests that make a game out of chores such as shopping for groceries. Children put the Herokins wearables — which take the form of action figures named Axel McRed and Dr. Rose — on their wrists. These connect to the parent’s smartphone via Bluetooth, and the parent can communicate to the child using the wearable.
As you can see in the video below, a parent can ask a child to pick up groceries in a store by asking the child via the Herokins to fetch some hot dogs. The parent sends a message to the toy, which plays the request for the child via an electronic speaker. The communication takes place within Bluetooth range, or inside a grocery store or other place where the parent and child are together.
Little Heroes Technologies is targeting to raise $20,000 in presale money via its Indiegogo campaign.
“Though technology has a tendency to disconnect families by promoting human-to-screen interactions, we believe Herokins will help bring families back together through shared experiences,” said Paolo Debellini, the founder and CEO of Little Heroes Technologies, in a statement. “Our interactive app and wearable smart toy let parents proactively engage with their children and the technology in ways that decrease screen time, stimulate the mind and evoke positive learned behaviors.”
Herokins are designed to harness the power of intrinsic motivation and turn teachable moments into fun joint parent-child adventures. With Herokins, the company says children can learn to exercise desirable behaviors, and parents can help them learn important life skills during each StoryQuest.
“It’s been amazing to see parents and children interact with Herokins and each other,” said Anne Cunningham, a professor of cognition and development at the University of California, Berkeley (who was also part of Leapfrog’s founding advisory board) in a statement. “In an age where technology all too often disengages us, Herokins truly connects families and helps to forge stronger parent-child bonds. I haven’t been this excited about an ed-tech product since my work during the early days of LeapFrog.”
Herokins have a built-in speakers and light-emitting-diode (LED) lights that bring the characters to life. Each Herokin will also be equipped with a sensor to detect proximity and movement. In addition, the free Herokins app for Android and iOS will have multiple StoryQuests for each character. The company plans to update the library of StoryQuests regularly for new adventures around child development such as safety, chores, social emotional milestones, and more.
Preordered Herokins should ship in the fall, and they are expected to be to consumers on Amazon and through specialty retailers for the holidays.
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