On February 8th a new Kickstarter campaign was launched by US entrepreneur JP Stoops, to bring his creation – The Pixlplay Camera – to life.
Aimed at three to 10 year-olds, the product hopes to bring photography to kids and families in an innovative way by combining a durable toy-like smart phone shell with a kid-friendly photography app. The shell will fit most modern iPhone and Android handsets and is designed with the intention of fitting various old smartphones that families may have lying around the house.
Stoops stated that the product is a way of teaching kids the skills of photography, while having fun in a safe and affordable way.
“We’re on a mission to make toys that make use of the smartphone, while encouraging creative and active play,” Stoops told ToyNews.
“The vision is to build a range of products that embrace the power of technology to inspire real-world play, teach problem solving and encourage creativity.”
At the time of writing, the Kickstarter campaign stood on the cusp of reaching its goal of $25, 000 and Stoops and co have big plans for when the goal is reached.
“We’ve got a pipeline of products ready to go based on many of the classic best sellers that work with the smartphone,” said Stoops.
“Our future products go into other core learning and cognitive skills like maths. We see ourselves at the intersection of physical and digital play.”
The Pixlplay team hopes to bring something new to the UK’s toy shelves, identifying it as the biggest target market outside of their home turf.
“The UK market will be one of our biggest priorities outside North America,” continued Stoops. “We hope to bring innovation to the toy isle. The kids’ camera hasn’t been re-invented for years, it’s been the same old, low resolution, poor quality cameras that sell year after year.”
The fact that this product encourages children to go outside could be seen as a healthy alternative to toys and devices that facilitate sedentary play indoors. The success of apps like Pokémon Go proves that there is a market for this kind of active play all over the world, which is something that many parents would like to see more of.
“Kids are eager to shoot their own photos and play with images,” added Stoops. “Pixlplay teaches these skills in a safe and fun way. Despite having a depleted bank account, working on this product has been one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.”