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Life’s busy—but children still need active engagement & attention.
Many parents struggle to balance their time between their children and other tasks. Household chores, work, the thousand other big and little things that take you away from your kids: you just can’t spend all your time with them. And there are few good solutions. Television and tablets might distract children, but they offer limited or no interaction at all. Parents need a product that actively occupies their children, that delights and encourages them while supporting their cognitive development. That’s why we’re introducing ixi-play.
Meet ixi-play—an adorable robot buddy built to support childhood development
Behind his big sweet eyes, ixi-play is an advanced robot equipped with face detection, color, and voice recognition—and he was designed to actively engage with your child. He can see, hear, feel, move, dance and express wonderfully life-like emotion. Children are drawn to ixi-play—and the strategic educational content built into his game repertoire supports their development. ixi-play is perfect for math games and language-learning; he also watches and responds engagingly and encouragingly to other forms of play. ixi-play can communicate with your child as he or she stacks building blocks helping to train spatial awareness and motor skills. And because he and your child share time together in a comfortable, sociable way, ixi-play also supports open-ended activities like dress-up or drawing.
Peace of mind: see and hear your child from afar with ixi-play
ixi-play is your child’s friend—but he can also be used as a cutting-edge baby monitor. His built-in camera and microphone deliver a live video stream to your tablet or iPad. You can move the camera remotely—and if you want, ixi-play can even sing a bedtime song, play soothing music, or talk to your child.
Years of ixi-play: this friend grows alongside your child
Children learn fast, especially in their first years. We know how hard it is to keep them interested in any plaything for a significant amount of time. That’s why ixi-play is built to accept upgrades as your child grows. Download and install new apps and games available on an app store. The games will have adaptive difficulty levels to keep pace with your children's age and skills, keeping them happy and challenged.
More than a hundred children have already fallen in love with ixi-play
ixi-play has been tested—and happily approved—by 125 children at schools and daycare as well as in their homes. As we refined our design, we worked together with universities to distill key insights from their research in childhood development and interaction. This helped us (and will continue to help us) shape the games ixi-play knows and make our product safe for his young users—and we got to see all the smiles ixi-play produced.
What people are saying about ixi-play
"Our research at Leiden University shows that children really liked to listen to and work with ixi-play. After two short training sessions they improved their reasoning skills. This shows that robot technology can be successfully applied to help to show their potential for learning cognitive skills more quickly." - Prof. Wilma Resing. Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Leiden
"My children have tried ixi-play, and I was amazed at the level of interaction it offers. Much better than an iPad." - Wendy, mother of four, Palo Alto
"ixi-play the owl robot dances like a pro and interacts with kids (and hopefully adults, as well)." - Kate D.
"Cute :-) Would be perfect for my godchild." - Christina H.
"GREAT!!!" - Lucas V.
"This new robot is really cool. And the toddler playing with it is absolutely adorable." - Angelica L.
"Great job. A young child would love a cute buddy like this!" - May N..
"...ixi-play, el monitor para bebes más futurista" (...ixi-play, the super-futuristic baby monitor). - Mujer magazine
"Wow, amazing! I’m going to get one for myself, even though I’m not a little girl." - Cathy Y.
"... el monitor para bebes que acabara haciendose amigo de tu hijo" (the baby monitor that ends up becoming your child’s friend). - Edgar F.
From the outside ixi-play might look like a cute toy, but he’s more advanced than you think. If you’re curious to see how he works, you might have look at our 'technology' page which you find on top of this text.
Ixi-play, an advanced social robot
With ixi-play we bring you an advanced robot technology for an affordable price. We carefully investigated all the available consumer robot products in the market and decided we should do better. To meet the requirements for the user experience we think you should have, we had to design our platform from scratch. To offer agile and silent body motion in combination with high robustness (child-proof) we developed a special motion engine. The camera input is used for face, card and object detection and recognition. The microphone is well suited for voice recognition and beat detection while moving. We added a touch sensor in the head and made sure you have decent sound output via the combination of a tweeter in the head and a woofer in the base. To give ixi-play the ability to show emotions we added two small displays with designed lenses to add to the expressivess of the eye animations. We also made sure you can connect ixi-play to your computer, tablet or smartphone via WiFi. Bluetooth enables you to connect your keyboard, mouse or other devices too.
Software: AndroidTM based with SDK
Ixi-play is an Android device by itself. To make it easy for you to develop your own apps, we have taken care of the low-level stuff, like advanced motion control and some vision processing. For Android developers we will provide a Software Development Kit that takes care of this enabling you to easily write your own Apps, just like you would normally do for your tablet or smartphone and make ixi-play do amazing things. So don't wait and become part of our developers community! Signing up is easy via email@example.com.
What's under the hood?
To make sure you have a platform that rocks, we gave ixi-play the specs1 you need:
|Processor||Dual Core ARM Cortex A9|
|Memory||1 GB DDR3 / 8 GB FLASH|
|O/S||Android 4.2 Jelly Bean|
|External Storage||Expandable via micro SD card slot2|
|Camera||Video HD 720p, Photo 5 MP|
|GPU||Full 1080p HD video decoding|
|Touch||Capacitive multi touch (head)|
|Speaker||Tweeter (head) & woofer (base)|
|Peripheral interface||Mini USB 2.0 OTG|
|Power supply||9 - 12V, 100-240V (included)|
For offering a great user experience we wanted our robot to move as lifelike as possible. That is why we based our design on a Stewart platform, which you might know from high end flight simulators. We redesigned this platform into a compact, robust, high speed, silent and low cost producable motion engine3 to make it consumer affordable. We added position feedback on each axis to be able to fully control the platform's 3 rotations and 3 translations simultaneously.
1. Preliminary specs.
2. Not accessable from the outside.
3. Patent pending.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can it connect to the Internet?
Yes. ixi-play is WiFi enabled which allows internet access.
You can connect to ixi-play directly, via your router and via your mobile network. One of the useful applications is video streaming.
Are there more colors available?
For now we only offer one model in one color. In a later stage we want to offer different colors and characters. We will make them exchangeable so you can upgrade later.
Is it safe? / How sturdy is it?
Yes, it is child safe. We will ensure ixi-play complies with the highest regulations regarding child product safety and materials. This requires extensive testing. The design is made such that it can handle impact without breaking it.
Does it work with my tablet or smartphone?
Yes. ixi-play connects to your tablet (or iPad) and smartphone via WiFi and Bluetooth. This not only allows you to install new apps (via a webportal), but also to use them as an input/output device.
How do you install new apps or update the software?
You will be able to easily install new apps or update the software from within an internet webportal.
Does it work in combination with my iPad/iPhone?
Yes, we offer a webportal to get access to ixi-play. You can use any internet browser on any device to download and manage your apps and settings.
Can it talk?
Yes of course. Currently it speaks English, but we will support multiple languages. We also use speech recognition like Siri. Besides this ixi-play can see and feel.
Is it hackable? Can I program it?
ixi-play runs Android so you can program it yourself. Because we integrated it you can still use your smartphone for what it's supposed to do. We will provide a Software Development Kit (SDK) that enables developers to program their own apps for the platform. This includes modules like image recognition and motion.
How do you pronounce ixi-play?
That depends on where you're from. In English it would be 'icksy'-play.
I work at a school / daycare / university / institute. I really like ixi-play, but my organization does not allow me to participate in crowdfunding campaigns.
Please get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org. We have special deals for schools, daycares, Universities and institutes.
Why is this better than TV or tablets?
ixi-play is much closer to real interaction than with a screen. Screens are 2D and offer a limited set of interaction. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has investigated the effects of television on young children for over 20 years. Their statement: "Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens."
We think ixi-play is the best electronic teaching tool available.
When will my order ship?
First batch ships in late 2014. We will provide you with an update as we are getting ready to ship your ixi-play.
Wow, that is cheap! The advanced robots I know cost thousands of dollars!
Robots used in research are advanced, but also very expensive. This is because they are packed with sensors and motors using industry grade components or specials. We have brought it down to the elements we think are needed for real interaction. By designing from scratch and apply design principles we are able to provide this advanced platform, from which we are sure of it can be produced with low cost production techniques. This way we have been able to bring the cost down to a level consumers can afford.
Is it mobile? / Can it drive around?
To make a robot drive around autonomously it has to have environmental awareness. Autonomous navigation is not only difficult, it also makes the platform expensive and potentially dangerous.We focused on user interaction and for the use cases we envision the child plays in front of the robot so there is no need to drive around.
How do I start an application? It does not have a screen to choose from.
You or your child are able to start an app by showing a card or the accessory box in front of ixi-play.
Is the baby monitor application / video streaming secure? I don't want to have anyone sneak around in my house via the wireless connection.
We totally understand this concern. There are many ways to secure a video stream and we will make sure you are the only one that has control over it.
Wow, that it expensive! The robot toys I know are much cheaper!
ixi-play is much more than a toy. It can see, hear, feel, show emotions, move lifelike and most importantly really interact. Most toys have a minimum set of sensors and features and only few are programmable. This not only means the child has limited interaction, once the child has seen all the features, the toy becomes predictable and boredom sets in. This usually happens after one or a few days and is therefore known as the 'One-day-of-play' syndrome. Ixi-play has many sensors to be able to offer rich interaction and is Android based, which makes it easy to install and/or program new apps. Therefore it is able to grow alongside the child and adapt to the interests and skills level of your child.
I like ixi-play and I am a programmer. Can I sign up for an early version to develop apps on?
Yes! We want to create a developers community that together with our own efforts create nice apps that people can enjoy. Contribute and sign up at email@example.com.
Do I have spend tons of money on games / apps to keep it interesting like on game consoles?
ixi-play is based on Android, which means for developers it is easy to program new apps. We ourselves have also developed a number of compelling apps like a baby monitor that we offer of free. We will continue to develop new apps. These apps will be made available in an appstore. Most for prices, similar to your smartphone or tablet. Some Apps will probably require accessories for the game play, which we will make available via our website.
Is my credit card charged when I pre-order?
No. Your card will not be charged until your ixi-play ships. Until then you are free to cancel your order by sending us an e-mail.
Please note that we authorize your card to ensure sufficient funds are available. This might be visible on your overview but it is not charged. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org