How far are you from the ones you love? Not only geographically, but also emotionally? Emotional distances are often caused by the physical ones. This is especially true with children who need to be nurtured and cared for daily. Not only this, but kids need an outlet for creativity and imagination. In the younger years, this usually expresses itself as ‘play time’.
How can you interact and play with your child, niece, or nephew if you are not there physically? This has been a hurdle for most men and women on business trips, in the armed service, or living far from extended family. The advent of Skype undoubtedly has minimized the impact of this issue, but it does not include the level of interaction that a young child needs.
Dallas based co-founders Helen Tien and Jim Welch, along with their team of six, have come together to solve the distance gap with a product that enables family to engage with their little ones no matter the distance.
The medium for this boundary-less play time is Kinskii. First, imagine any video chat service. Now imagine a computer game for children. Now merge those two ideas together and you will begin to understand Kinskii. The platform was created by families and tested by families and made for families. The three focusses of Kinskii are engagement, education, and safety.
With Kinskii, the faces of the live video feeds are cropped onto avatars into a variety of 2-D gams in which both parties must work and communicate together to solve or win. Kinskii is not limited to games, but also has call and video chat functions.
“Current video chat solutions are made for adults. Playing is more than just fun. It’s the way that kids connect with the loved ones in their lives. The less we play, the farther apart our families grow. No matter how fast or clear the video chat program is-It wasn't designed for family-It wasn't designed for play."
Kinskii itself is an app that is available in the app store and can also be downloaded to a Mac or PC. Backers will receive this app, plus a wide range of other offerings depending on the amounts pledged. This could include coloring sheets, stickers, figurines, cards, custom Kinskii monsters, and even developing your own Kinskii game in Dallas, Texas.
When I spoke with Helen about the Kickstarter campaign, we began to speak of technology and how it can (and in many cases does) enhance our communications. Yet it has the proclivity to be one of the largest time-wasters and communication mishaps ever. Some parents may not like the fact that we are swiftly marching away from face-to-face communications. In itself, this is not bad but if the emotional distances between families expands with it then, yes, it could lead to that. Kinskii approaches this challenge head on with a warm embrace. “Kinskii is the integration of video chat technologies and the simple human joy of play", says Helen.
The team at Kinskii are also in the running to team up with an accelerator in Dallas. Of the 100 applications, they are among 30 remaining candidates, each waiting to fill one of 15 spots.
If they make it it will give them a big POP in the right direction.
Kinskii’s Kickstarter Campaign Page