100The development history of the project “ABS talk with me” is rich in trials and errors, stumbling blocks and breakthroughs of a resourceful and ambitious team.

Maxim Ronshin, who proposed the idea, is a serial entrepreneur from Ukraine with successful mobile solutions for business and entertainment.110 But being also a father of two kids who spend too much time in the world of digital games, he racked his brain how to avoid losing in the “Digital divide» game, where kids get attracted by virtual reality in their smartphones and tablets leaving their parents outside of this digital capsule. To bring them back together, he opted to build their meeting point at the brink of virtual and physical worlds by designing a toy, which could also be instrumental for solving some basic learning problem, like easy learning of alphabet and reading. 200Thus, an idea of interactive ABC blocks was born, where ABC blocks would step into the game played by a kid and give him or her clues and hints.
Maxim produced several electronic prototypes with the mechanical principle, including RFID or Bluetooth features, which looked quite impressive, but the final product cost was way too high, until it dawned on him to develop an interactive table based on a usual videocamera. 300This idea has received a successful net development, due to nuigroup.org community, and appeared quite lucrative.

He tried to promote this idea at the human accelerator competition in the city of Trento, Italy, and shared it with Dmitry Maiseenka, an inventor and IT wizard from Belarus. Dmitry got a wide experience in recognition techniques – for instance, he invented the SProtect technology, which provided the product protection from counterfeit attempts using special marks and mobile software. 340Since he also grew a kid, Maxim’s idea found an eager support and soon they jointly presented the game table prototype and the first learning game to investors and won their first grant of 25,000 EUR in June 2013.

It turned out in the process of testing that it was desirable to reduce the entry threshold for parents who want to buy such a toy, since not all parents can afford to purchase a special interactive table.440
Also there was a problem of storage (with so much space occupied by all kid’s toys, parents can hardly welcome any more large boxes). This triggered a new idea to develop a special support/stand for IPAD, which led to the concept of game within a special field. Dmitry liked the idea that kids would not even have to look into a telephone or a tablet screen.
Maxim constructed a simple universal stand for a phone from a piece of cardboard (its involute is available for download on our website). Dmitry persistently tested the product primarily on his child, fine-tuning the gameplay and the program. 560However, during the product testing among parents it turned out that many parents enjoyed the procedure of aiming their phones at the toy together with their kids: it worked for them as a magic glass! In just a few months, an original recognition platform and the game prototype were successfully developed.
700It looks incredible, but the company has found a way to create and license the game for a large-scale manufacturer in Russia. Since users seemed to like this game, Dmitry and Maxim created a prototype of other educational games with the LearnPeaks brand and even released the first interactive multimedia book in Ukraine jointly with its author Eugene Mayevski. 600The project has a strong social orientation, and it has been tested by users and teachers in several countries, attracting much interest.
We decided to make a try of bringing the first product,which combines physical alphabet blocks with picturesque characters from augmented reality, to the mass market under the title “ABC TALK WITH ME”. 570For this purpose we reinforced our team by Victoria Liashenko — a primary school teacher with a good knowledge of child psychology, and Nickolas Smykovsky — a seasoned marketing expert. We sincerely hope that crowdfunding will attract the required interest to our direction. With a help of our backers we’ll be able to start production of ABC blocks and finalize the program.We are open for any feedback, comments, and suggestions. Please feel free to contact us!

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