It’s a new world and children are not jumping excitedly at being taken to a park anymore. At least, not as much as they enjoy sitting inside and playing with their iPads or phones or watching the latest episode of Chota Bheem. None require any critical thinking. And it may be keeping the children engaged, but parents are concerned about the screen time they are getting.
Bengaluru-based Skipy Interactive is trying to change this. While it does not have a solution for the lack of physical activity problem, the start-up is making efforts to stimulate children’s mental capacity.
An interactive image-processing pad is connected to an android-based device (phone or tablet) that has the Skippy app installed. Once something is drawn on the pad, it comes ‘alive’ as an animation on the device. It makes them feel like they are drawing on paper, but their characters or drawings are turning into something much more fun on a screen.
“We need to instill the idea of creation before consumption. Kids have largely become consumers of content, meanwhile missing out on sharpening their own creativity,” says Ajay Das, founder, Skipy Interactive. The start-up is working on an IOS version of the app as well.
Created for 4-8-year-old children, the game comes with five experiences. The prominent ones among them are the greeting card creating feature, interactive learning through pictures and story-telling through characters— all involving drawing and colouring. The experiences further vary according to the age groups. There is a step-by-step drawing guide for younger children.
The start-up has conducted demos at several playschools in Bengaluru, gathering feedback and improving on the product before an online launch on Amazon in April this year. The app, however, is standalone and can be used by uploading images of characters drawn on paper. “But for advanced features and unlocking experiences, one has to get the set,” Das adds.
The game is priced at Rs.1,499 and the team will soon launch individual content cards for each experience, which will cost between Rs.399 and Rs.499. The app user can buy these cards if they want to access a particular experience.
Skipy Interactive was incubated by Axilor Ventures in 2018, and is now a part of Gray Matters Capital’s calibration programme. “We are gathering user experiences to innovate our next product. Right now, it just involves drawing, but we will soon launch products which will explore other modes of physical interaction with tech such as writing, playing blocks and so on,” says Divye Marwah, CTO, Skipy Interactive.