Augie wins The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval

We’re excited to share that Augie the Coding Robot has won the National Parenting Center’s Seal of approval! Check it out here, and find Augie in Target stores near you! 

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Business.com — Four Businesses with Killer Branding

Read the full article here.

Killer Branding Example #2: Pai Technology

Pai Technology is an international company focused on the development of children three to 12 years old  As a brand that’s new to the U.S., they knew they needed to be really clear on their messaging in order to cut through the noise.

Amy Braun, the U.S. marketing director for Pai, says, “We’re competing against major education tech brands in the children’s tech toy space. We need a brand message that not only resonates with our audience but also communicates what we stand for, which is family values and child development.”

Pai Technology ended up settling on the slogan, ‘grow, develop and play. Its media kit really paints a picture in the first two sentences, “Imagine…technology that doesn’t tear your family apart, but instead brings you closer together. Imagine…technology that doesn’t interfere with your child’s education and development, but encourages it.”

With messaging like that, it’s no secret what the brand is all about.

Featured in Parade! STEM and Science Toys for Girls (and Boys)

https://parade.com/627489/rachelweingarten/stem-and-science-toys-for-girls-and-boys/

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A few weeks back I was the keynote speaker at a gathering of cosmetic chemists; my topic was encouraging women not to be the hidden figures in the sciences. One of the things I learned while researching my speech was that to have women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics–or STEM–fields, you need to find new ways to reach girls, and teach them through action that science isn’t just for boys.

So, if you’re interested in nurturing your own budding Marie Curie or Ada Lovelace, these games are great for both girls and boys. Some are strictly STEM, while some also incorporate the arts.

  • Augie is both a coding robot and toy developed to introduce children to coding language. It also fuels their creativity by challenging their imagination. It’s hard to explain just how fascinating this toy/not a toy is and how it helps build and enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It’s also a way to introduce kids to artificial intelligence and takes digital nativism to a new level.

AR Presence Strong at Toy Fair, But VR Interest Seems to Be Declining

http://www.mesalliance.org/2018/02/20/ar-presence-strong-toy-fair-vr-interest-seems-declining/

NEW YORK — Augmented reality (AR) continues to be incorporated into a large number of toys and games targeted at kids, but interest in standard virtual reality (VR) requiring headsets seems to be on the decline among toy makers, according to interviews the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) conducted at the annual American International Toy Fair Feb. 17-20.

Interest in artificial intelligence (AI), however, seems to be on the rise among companies making toys.

The incorporation of AR, VR and other technologies into toys was included by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) in its list of the top toy trends for 2017 that were announced at last year’s show. And TIA announced Feb. 18 at Toy Fair that it “expects to see more affordable and user-friendly virtual and augmented reality toys, interactive and buildable robots with new features” this year.

While the AR part of that prediction was underscored by our conversations with several Toy Fair exhibitors, the VR portion of the forecast was cast into some doubt by what most of the exhibitors we interviewed said.

In addition, one of the companies fielding VR products at the show last year – Seedling – wasn’t among the exhibitors this time. Uncle Milton, meanwhile, didn’t announce any new VR products at the show this year after touting several such items there in 2017.

Pai Technology

The main story at Pai Technology’s Toy Fair booth this time was Augie, a $199.99 coding robot for kids, equipped with AR technology, that was developed to introduce kids to computer coding language, according to the company. The robot also was designed to engage kids’ imagination and creativity while helping them to improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, Pai said. Augie works in conjunction with an Android and iOS app.

Pai showed a prototype version of a coding robot at Toy Fair last year, but a finalized version of Augie was shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Sherry Wu, the company’s global business strategy director, told MESA Feb. 17.

It’s already being sold by Amazon and 32 Barnes & Noble stores, she told us. Augie is also being sold at Barnesandnoble.com.

Pai is in talks with additional U.S. retailers to widen its availability, Wu said.

Also touted by Pai at Toy Fair was Circuit Conductor, a $69.99 educational kit, also featuring AR, that teaches kids about electricity, currents and magnets.

The company, which opened a Santa Monica, California, office in 2016, has positioned itself as a provider of AR STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) experiences. STEAM (often STEM, minus the art) has been a dominant theme at Toy Fair in recent years and that trend continued for 2018.

STEM Gadgets for kids still big at tech show CES despite concerns

Read the full article here: https://ph.news.yahoo.com/gadgets-kids-still-big-tech-show-despite-concerns-093605307.html

The timing may have been unfortunate following revived concerns of the dangers of too much technology for young children.

But as the debate swirled, exhibitors at the Las Vegas extravaganza sought to showcase devices aimed at health, education and entertainment for youngsters, including educational robots.

Pai Technology introduced its interactive storybooks for children, which use virtual reality and according to its website “encourages a love of reading” and offers “thoughtful stories.”

Amy Braun, marketing director for the group, acknowledged concerns about kids and technology but said these devices still have value.

“Technology is here to stay, and it’s important to expose our children to technology but in beneficial ways,” she said.

“We really focus on making sure that the time that we put it in front of our children is all about learning and development. And it’s not either or.”

Braun said parents must decide on appropriate limits for screen exposure and other technology usage.

Chinese startup Dragon Touch unveiled its colorful tablet computer aimed at kids between three and six years old, with educational apps and parental controls.

Dragon Touch’s Lei Guo said the tablets may be valuable but also suggested parents supervise their use.​

“I really don’t want my kids to spend too much time on the internet,” he said.

“So that’s why we also have the parent control mode, so that the parents can set a time, for example maybe 30 minutes per day.”

– Augmented reality toothbrush –

An augmented reality toothbrush meanwhile introduced by French startup Kolibree allows children to look at a smartphone or tablet screen to motivate and educate them about oral hygiene.

“With image analysis, the application detects the brushing motion,” Kolibree’s Leonie Williamson.

The device makes brushing a game, enabling kids to earn points by holding and using the toothbrush correctly.

Williamson said the toothbrush would not be a big contributor to too much screen time for kids: “It’s just three brushings of two minutes each day.”

The electronics show has long featured devices for children, and exhibitors typically plan their displays and products many months in advance.

But the show opened just amid fresh fears that too much technology may be harmful for children.

In the United States, the nonprofit group Common Sense Media found 95 percent of US households have a mobile device in the home. Screen time has been shifting, the group said, from television to mobile devices.

Earlier this week, two large shareholders urged Apple to study whether iPhones are proving addictive for children and if intensive use of the smartphones may be bad for their mental health.

The investors cited a recent study suggesting children are negatively distracted by digital technologies in the classroom.

Apple, which is not present at CES but whose system is used by many app developers, said in a statement it “has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online.”

At CES, Ahren Hoffmann of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, said determining how much technology to use for kids is “all about balance.”

“We want to make sure that our kids today are both getting outside and play, and that they are playing with traditional toys, that they’re playing board games, but they’re also using iPads and tech toys, and learning about coding and other things that are happening in the world around us today,” she told AFP at the show.

Pai Technology on Huffington Post: Best of CES 2017

Read the full article here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58bafc8ee4b02eac8876cf3b. 

Pai Technology’s CubeTastic and Ocean PetsVideo games have taken over our kids’ lives so it’s nice to see some techie educational games on the market. Pai Technology’s CubeTastic is a puzzle cube that will remind parents of the Rubik’s Cube, but it uses 3D augmented reality to guide kids through the puzzle. Ocean Pets lets kids create their own fish, scan them with their mobile device and then see them come to life with 3D augmented reality. Both products are inexpensive and intended for kids ages 3-12. pai.technology

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Augie featured on The Toy Insider!

Read the full article here: https://www.thetoyinsider.com/augie-augmented-reality-robot-review/.

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“The future is now Augie.

Augie Augmented Reality Robot, from Pai Technology, merges two popular trends in the toy aisles right now: coding and augmented reality (AR). The minibot is designed for preschool kids and introduces them to coding concepts in a fun and engaging way.

Augie is a tiny, sleek-moving robot with a circular screen that looks like an eye. The “eye” will flash images on its screen depending on the action it is performing, and the speakers on the side of the bot play sounds, helping Augie to come to life. It also has four wheels on its bottom, two of which rotate in all directions so that Augie can glide with the grace of a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

Once connected to the Augie app on a tablet or smart device, kids will get to dive into the many features that are available at their fingertips. There are six ways to play with Augie: Freeplay, Trailblaze, Coding Classroom, Coding Control Center, AR Adventures, and AR Coding.

When little ones want to put their coding skills to the test, they can try out one of the coding modes. The Coding Control Center lets kids feel strong and powerful as they build codes and commands for their tiny friend to follow. Coders can use the functions on the left side of the panel to control how Augie moves, what sounds it makes, and what it displays on its screen. Kids can easily edit and remove functions if they are not satisfied with the end result, and once they like what they have created, they can save the command and access it at any time. Kids will spend hours coding commands that send Augie in all direction in the kitchen, and then top it off with a barking noise that will fool even the slyest house dog.

Freeplay is an easier way for kids to interact with their smart friend. Using a smart device, kids can move Augie forward, backward, left, and right. They can even change the color of the lights that it emits, and play noises or record their own silly sounds for it to project. For even more fun, tilt the tablet and prepare to be amazed as Augie moves in the same direction. Trailblaze is a similar mode where kids draw a path for Augie to follow, and then add fun effects for it to display on its screen.

The AR Adventures combines the challenge of coding with the excitement of AR. During this mode of play, kids use the bottom control to play the game, and the touchscreen joystick to move Augie around and help him battle the enemy. Players help Augie release lasers and collect the AR coins as they improve their health and move through each level. Kids can play games such as Hide and Seek and Super Augie Maze, or even create unique games and control how it is played by dragging obstacles and setting time parameters.

When kids immerse themselves in Augie’s world, they’ll enter a universe that is full of critical thinking challenges disguised in cool technological functions and capabilities. Here at the toy Insider, we like to call that a win-win. 😉 “