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A design student from Northern Sweden has with support from the University Technology Transfer Office patented a technology enabling interaction with a touch screen device through a plastic shell. The solution also consists of a concept where the technology is used in an interactive toy for toddlers. In order to take this concept to the market they are now looking for partners for licensing, acquisition or commercial agreement with technical assistance.
The designer has developed an innovative technology and concept that enables a smartphone to become and interactive toy, using plastic shells intended for toddlers.
The concept allows toddlers to play with a smartphone in a way that encourages healthy development in both cognitive and motor skills by reworking the interaction with a specially designed shell. This soft plastic shell has squeezable zones providing feedback through the shell to the phone, resulting in a digital response such as sound, video and vibration.
The combination of an app and the soft plastic body creates a cute interactive creature, capable of different form of play and games.
The concept is developed at an internationally top-ranked Swedish Design College in collaboration with experts in pedagogy and child development. All features and intended interactions are made to provide challenging and stimulating play for growing children. This product provides a solution for parents of small children needing a break similar to that provided by smartphones but without the guilt trip that often follows. The parents guilt trip refers to their toddlers' time in front of the screen and use of non-pedagogic games, app or videos.
The technology could also be used in other application involving interaction with a touchscreen device though a plastic shell such as elderly/dementia/stroke care or rough/wet environments that could otherwise damage the device.
In order to bring this technology and concept to the market they are now looking for a partner for a licensing or acquisition deal. A collaboration can also be in the form of a commercial agreement with technical assistance as the designer is willing to support the licensees or buyer in the further development of the concept if requested.
This new concept gives a well-considered solution to a problem many parents face every day. As the construction off the shell is protected, the app can be made free of charge by adding the development costs of the app to the shells without the risk of 3rd party shells. This is also a method for generating income from new content updates as they would come with new shell designs.
• Patent pending method for interacting with touchscreens.
• Easy-to-adapt design format for existing brand/form language.
• Well-made and thought out intended application of new technology.
• Adaptable to the child, providing challenging games as the child progresses.
• Simple construction with no electronics or moving parts except for the deformation of soft plastics.
• User friendly, easy to use and clean for parents.
• Protects the phone from external forces and baby drool.
• Modern, gender-neutral design.
• Cost-efficient, as the hardware is in the smartphone.
The intended partner could be either 1) a toy company wanting to incorporate new technology into their line-up, 2) an app company trying to reach new groups of parents, 3) a phone case manufacturers wanting to use their internal resources for new applications.
Other interested partners are of course welcome to make offers.
Expected action from the partner is to through a commercial agreement, a license or acquisition deal take this technology or concept to the market.