DIARY OF AN INVENTOR: Ido Klein and Lil' Monkey

Ido Klein explains how he launched a climbing frame that uses augmented reality technology.
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During the many years that I have developed toys, it came to my attention that today's children tend to 'grow up faster' and abandon traditional toys in favour of electronic gaming, which are accessible everywhere, in your tablets, mobile phones and TV.

But, this said, children still have the natural need to spend energy, after all there is a Lil' Monkey in every child that wants jump, climb and be active.

At the early stages of developing the structure of the Lil' Monkey Dome Climber, I happened to stumble across a augmented reality technology and it hit my mind that combining this technology with a physical game that will be used in your backyard would be an outstanding opportunity.

I approached experts in the augmented reality field and together with guidance of child education experts we started developing the app. The result was that we developed a dome climber that interacts with app technology that helps keep children active.

This is actually the first time an interactive augmented reality app is introduced to the outdoor toy category.

After many years experience of launching several items into the market, I can say that the first challenge an entrepreneur faces when developing a new item / idea is that the item has to have a 'point of difference' and the second challenge is finding the right team of people. Allow me to elaborate.

When developing an item, one should develop an item with a point of difference from competition and from what's out there in the market. The point of difference should be in innovation, price or both and should be clear enough for the consumer to differentiate your product from the market.

Another challenge is finding the right people and partners to work with. Good people are hard to come by and it takes time to find a good team of people that are talented, trustful and motivated. I am glad to say that I am lucky to have the privilege to work with a great team of people that have helped me develop and launch the Lil' Monkey line of products.

There are many hurdles of bringing any idea to life - finance, cash flow, technical knowhow, product design, graphic design, legal, IP, production, marketing, and sales. 

I can actually say that the biggest challenge for the Lil' Monkey Dome was in the engineering side, where we set a goal to produce a high quality dome climber with a new innovative app that combines a technology that has never been implemented in this category at attractive retail price of £89.95. 

After many years of development and many rounds of prototypes we finally achieved our goals of a product at the right quality, price and a new technology that brings huge play value to consumer. It wasn't easy but worth the effort.

Our triumph was to see the final item come to life and seeing children play with the Lil' Monkey Dome for hours and hours – that’s the moment we knew that we have great item in our hands.

We are currently working on a line of three promising and exiting items that are planned to be ready for production by mid-2015.

Similar to the Dome Climber, all three items are modular and will involve the same technology that we have developed for the Dome Climber. For long term our mission is that Lil' Monkey will be a brand leader in the outdoor toy category. 

It means that after a lot of effort the team and I at Lil' Monkey are excited to reach the goal of launching Lil' Monkey's first product successfully. We then can look forward to going ahead with our plan to develop and launch our next line of items.

For more information on Lil’ Monkey or to enquire about stocking this product please contact Ido Klein contact@idoleh.com or visit their website www.lil-monkey.com

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