Now the toys are getting smarter too. 5 QUESTIONS with Ubooly co-creator Carly Gloge

Ubooly ( Picasa )

Last year, Carly Gloge and her husband saw a need to develop a fun and educational children’s toy that incorporated the latest in technology. Using an iPhone as their tool, the two integrated voice recognition technology, delivered content over Wi-Fi and combined that with a plush toy.

The result was Ubooly, a fuzzy, stuffed bear that is powered by an iPod Touch or iPhone. Ubooly can tell stories, play games and go on adventures with children.

After raising more than $25,000 via a Kickstarter campaign and gaining validation from the tech and investment communities, the two plan to start shipping the interactive educational Ubooly toys in July.

The following has been edited for clarity and space.

1. What led to the development of Ubooly?

My husband and I have been working together for five years. He’s a developer, I’m a designer and we’ve made a ton of iOS apps. … We just kept seeing toys and thinking, “I can’t believe people aren’t leveraging the power of the iPhone or these other smartphones to make a really cool toy.”

Some of our inspiration was Teddy Ruxpin (a talking toy bear introduced in the 1980s). That was really revolutionary for its time. We really wanted to do something like that, that was intelligent and wasn’t something kids would throw out a week after getting it.

Coming from developing business software, this was the one we really felt like we could be passionate about long-term and work 24-7 on.

2. What helped you reach the Kickstarter goal?

Definitely the startup community in Boulder is huge. We got great intros to other startups in the space. … Beyond that for us, a lot of what helped was sending prototypes to influential people. We had a lot of (people in) media reach out. A lot of the parents were really kind of skeptical until they handed (Ubooly) to their kids. They wrote a review and that drove a lot of traffic.

… A lot of our early backers, we didn’t even know the people before Kickstarter. I think that’s the beauty of Kickstarter is they’re not funding the company, they’re funding people.

3. How many pre-orders do you have?

We have about 300 units to date.

4. What is the potential for Ubooly and this technology?

Every month, we plan to add approximately two to four hours of new, recorded content. A lot of that is about the personality of Ubooly. … Additionally, Ubooly will remember things and be nostalgic about interactions with the kids.

Since we know what the date is, Ubooly can say, “Hey, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, do you want to hear about the story of St. Patrick?” Since we also know what the weather is, there are endless possibilities there. We’ll also be releasing different packs … Ubooly will start integrating games and learning around that.

The idea is Ubooly learns with the kids. We didn’t really want to produce a toy where it was a tutor. Ubooly’s very curious and excited about learning.

5. Do you plan to incorporate other platforms?

We’ll eventually get there. We really want to test the market today and see how it does on the iOS technology.

Alicia Wallace

More-latest speech technologies
Social share or comment – what do you think?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to log in.

Trackback URL http://www.speechtechnologygroup.com/now-the-toys-are-getting-smarter-too-5-questions-with-ubooly-co-creator-carly-gloge/trackback

Now the toys are getting smarter too. 5 QUESTIONS with Ubooly co-creator Carly Gloge

Ubooly ( Picasa )

Last year, Carly Gloge and her husband saw a need to develop a fun and educational children’s toy that incorporated the latest in technology. Using an iPhone as their tool, the two integrated voice recognition technology, delivered content over Wi-Fi and combined that with a plush toy.

The result was Ubooly, a fuzzy, stuffed bear that is powered by an iPod Touch or iPhone. Ubooly can tell stories, play games and go on adventures with children.

After raising more than $25,000 via a Kickstarter campaign and gaining validation from the tech and investment communities, the two plan to start shipping the interactive educational Ubooly toys in July.

The following has been edited for clarity and space.

1. What led to the development of Ubooly?

My husband and I have been working together for five years. He’s a developer, I’m a designer and we’ve made a ton of iOS apps. … We just kept seeing toys and thinking, “I can’t believe people aren’t leveraging the power of the iPhone or these other smartphones to make a really cool toy.”

Some of our inspiration was Teddy Ruxpin (a talking toy bear introduced in the 1980s). That was really revolutionary for its time. We really wanted to do something like that, that was intelligent and wasn’t something kids would throw out a week after getting it.

Coming from developing business software, this was the one we really felt like we could be passionate about long-term and work 24-7 on.

2. What helped you reach the Kickstarter goal?

Definitely the startup community in Boulder is huge. We got great intros to other startups in the space. … Beyond that for us, a lot of what helped was sending prototypes to influential people. We had a lot of (people in) media reach out. A lot of the parents were really kind of skeptical until they handed (Ubooly) to their kids. They wrote a review and that drove a lot of traffic.

… A lot of our early backers, we didn’t even know the people before Kickstarter. I think that’s the beauty of Kickstarter is they’re not funding the company, they’re funding people.

3. How many pre-orders do you have?

We have about 300 units to date.

4. What is the potential for Ubooly and this technology?

Every month, we plan to add approximately two to four hours of new, recorded content. A lot of that is about the personality of Ubooly. … Additionally, Ubooly will remember things and be nostalgic about interactions with the kids.

Since we know what the date is, Ubooly can say, “Hey, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, do you want to hear about the story of St. Patrick?” Since we also know what the weather is, there are endless possibilities there. We’ll also be releasing different packs … Ubooly will start integrating games and learning around that.

The idea is Ubooly learns with the kids. We didn’t really want to produce a toy where it was a tutor. Ubooly’s very curious and excited about learning.

5. Do you plan to incorporate other platforms?

We’ll eventually get there. We really want to test the market today and see how it does on the iOS technology.

Alicia Wallace

More-latest speech technologies
Social share or comment – what do you think?

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to log in.

Trackback URL http://www.speechtechnologygroup.com/now-the-toys-are-getting-smarter-too-5-questions-with-ubooly-co-creator-carly-gloge/trackback
css.php