From the creator of the industry-changing LeapPad system, Kinoo gives kids a head start in school and life while providing families deeper and more meaningful connections
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kinoo, the Kinetic Video™ System that teaches kids academic and life skills by connecting generations of family members through novel, interactive and physical games and activities, today announces its official launch after a six-month beta and pre-sales period. The play and learning system integrates Kinoo’s motion-sensing wand with game-based educational activities to promote fun, age-appropriate development experiences between children and long-distance family and friends. Kinoo was founded in 2020 by a team of tech innovators, child researchers and health tech entrepreneurs, including Jim Marggraff (creator of LeapPad Learning System), Mark Schlictling and Barbara Chase (award-winning researchers of children’s interactive play and game design) and Jonathon Nostrant (creator of the first voice-activated smart assistant speaker).
Kinoo is embracing long-distance family dynamics by encouraging far-away relatives to take an active role in the early development of younger generations. The kinetic (motion-based) video system and its integrated wand are structured to help relatives coach and teach young loved ones essential academic and life skills, including literacy, numeracy and social skills – ultimately, turning standard video chat sessions into exciting, physically-engaging, educational moments. Activities available on Kinoo stimulate the growing minds of young users, gamifying developmental and cognitive lessons with educational activities and teachable conversation prompts. These prompts discreetly guide older loved ones to ask questions and offer comments at key, learning “light bulb” moments and reward them with a fun and purpose-filled role to play. The Kinoo Wand further enhances the user experience through interpretive motions tied to the gameplay, including collaborative drawing, reading, writing, building, fishing, cooking, sculpting, and more, associated with family bonding, learning, and fun. These facets of Kinoo’s offerings not only hone children’s developing creativity but enforce a holistic, experiential, and active approach to childhood development and learning.
“Kinoo was sparked by my wife’s university research on the negative impact of astronauts’ isolation from their loved ones,” said Jim Marggraff, CEO and Co-Founder of Kinoo. “We recognized the parallel need for connecting remote loved ones on Earth, and the desire of family members to help with the development of their young loved ones. Kinoo’s mission is to create the best possible future for families and connect them through play, laughter and learning. It is our hope that Kinoo is a driving force for familial bonding and helping children develop academic and twenty-first-century life skills.”
Kinoo is the latest edtech venture for Jim Marggraff, creator of the renowned LeapPad Learning System that has transformed the space since the 1990s – changing the lives of over 100 million children and reaching over $1billion in global sales. Marggraff’s success in the field led to being named Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council in 2004 and Ernst & Young’s 2011 Northern California Entrepreneur of the Year. With Kinoo, Marggraff and its award-winning executive team are bringing the fundamental takeaways derived from the success of past edtech ventures to addressing issues that modern families face every day.
The pandemic has changed the way families communicate. A 2021 AARP report suggests that remote grandparents are seeking new ways to make video chatting more interactive and relevant to the educational development of their younger loved ones1. As we become more reliant on video calls to stay connected, the struggle to help young children engage and interact with those on the other side of the screen becomes more apparent. Kinoo’s interactive content and kinetic video solve this problem by aiding in both emotional regulation and social development, mitigating children’s learning and social losses caused by the pandemic, extended school breaks, and other uncontrollable factors.
Kinoo is available for purchase on Kinoo.com and can be downloaded on the US-based iOS app store (compatible with iOS devices from 2017 and newer, running iOS 13+). The Kinoo Wand Bundle comes with the Kinoo Wand, plus lifetime, no-cost access to a growing library of Kinoo co-play games and activities for $99. Buyers also receive a 30-day period of unlimited video-calling, playing, and learning and one hour per month of video time thereafter. Families may upgrade to unlimited use for $10/monthly, or continue with one hour per month for free. During Kinoo’s beta test, most families used Kinoo much more than 1-hour per month, resulting in close to a 100% rate of opt-ins to upgrade.
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Kinoo is a groundbreaking tool for fostering child development while nurturing precious relationships with distant older loved ones. Kinoo’s patented technology, accessed via an iOS app and a patented controller Wand, allows remote users to play collaboratively in shared, game-based learning activities. Kinoo’s interactive learning app is designed for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and any distant loved ones and the kids in their lives to connect, play and learn together, enhancing the way family members connect across long distances. From any remote location, family members can collaborate in virtual playtime on a variety of engaging and enriching activities and games, enhanced by using the Kinoo Wand which brings interpretive motion into the gameplay.. Kinoo combines video chat communication and collaborative activities with an educational foundation to strengthen family bonds and promote early-childhood development.
Kinoo was founded by a team of technology, child research, and health tech experts, including Jim Marggraff, creator of the transformational, award-winning LeapPad Learning System. Kinoo is available for purchase on Kinoo.com and can be downloaded on the US-based iOS app store (compatible with iOS devices from 2017 and newer, running iOS 13+). To date, Kinoo has raised $13M from investors, including Learn Capital, Galaxy Interactive, and Rotary startup investors, in addition to angel investors including well-known life and business strategist Tony Robbins.
1kulla, B., Barr, R., Zosh, J., Strouse, G., Myers, L., Troseth, G., McClure, E., & AARP Research. (2021, September). Video Chats Help Bond Grandparents and Their Young Grandchildren. AARP. Retrieved January 7, 2022, from https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/technology/info-2021/video-chat-grandparents-grandchildren-pandemic.html