Smash-a-Ball, THE electronic toy for the visual impaired.
Electronic board game for visual impaired and blind children to enhance their cognitive development.
We’re simultaneously developing a range of non-electric toys and smartphone apps, all designed from scratch to be fun, entertaining and engaging to enhance the most important aspects of cognitive development. Smash-a-Ball is the name of our first product, the main star in this project.
Smash-a-Ball uses a backpack and a main board. If we reach our stretch goal we will have the opportunity to manufacture an armband, which has the same functionality as the backpack, giving you the option to choose. Either option gives the child a tactile stimulus, paired with the main board to give an auditory stimulus.
The game works by pressing correspondent colourful buttons, either trying to press the particular button as quickly as possible, or remember the pattern and press the right buttons in the right order as quickly as possible. For both you can choose a difficulty level to suit your pace or challenge yourself.
Smash-a-Ball has been designed to enhance cognitive development in specific skills that are essential in visually impaired and blind people, such as; body and spatial awareness, memory, reaction rates and building self-esteem. All this in a fun, entertaining and engaging experience while playing, because of course play is one of the most important experiences during childhood. Several studies have shown that play has many and varied benefits including; improving health, quality of life; increasing self-awareness, self-esteem and self-respect, building resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving and dealing with new and novel situations.When cognitive development is enhanced with Smash-a-Ball, the benefits are apparent in every day life. For example:
- Social inclusion: If you play with family and friends, you can challenge each other with difficulty levels, increasing confidence and social skills.
- Self-esteem: Having a positive self-esteem is really important for everybody, but even more so for a child who is still developing and has a special condition. Having good self-esteem means they’ll have more confidence to explore new ideas, make new friends, reach out to help others and take on greater responsibility as they mature.
- Motor skills: The toy demands the child be more precise in their movements due to the way the buttons have been placed, this translates into real life through helping them have better control over cutlery when eating and stationery when at school.
- Reaction Rate: For example, someone is about to cross the road and a car is approaching that they haven’t seen, in this situation your reaction rate is of the upmost importance. Training this skill is imperative in avoiding accidents.
- Memory: Memory is an important skill for everybody, but for visually impaired and blind people, having a sharp and lively memory is fundamental.
- Body and spatial awareness: They’ll be more capable and aware of using their own body and everything around them, for example; toys, stationery in school desks, dishes and glasses, allowing them to coordinate their movements better, avoiding potential accidents.
We are glad to say, we are working with Edinburgh University on a scoping study for a future clinical trial to measure children’s cognitive development in the above areas through the Smash-a-Ball.
We are a young company with a noble mission; we want to bring a new way to entertain visually impaired and blind children, while simultaneously enhancing their cognitive development and relationship with their family.
Also with us, you can godparent a child or teenager. When you do that, we’ll send them a Smash-a-Ball as a gift from you, which is not just a new toy, but a tool that allows them to be more prepared in life.
Finally, when you support this project, you are not only supporting this particular project, you help us to keep developing more toys like this and help even more people. In fact, we are launching our first app in April!
We want you to know how much we appreciate you helping us, that’s why we want to reward you, you can choose the best option to be rewarded with.
£5+. Special Thank you. Your help makes Smash-a-Ball closer to the goal and to help thousands of children to have fun and enhance their cognitive development, that’s why we’ll send you an email with our sincerest thanks.
£15+. 3D Puzzle. Your help makes Smash-a-Ball closer to the goal and to help thousands of children to have fun and enhance their cognitive development, We want to give you a 3D file, so you can print your own 3D puzzles with braille on it!
£30+. Welcome to the community! You’ll get a bumper sticker and an anti-stress ball.
£50+. Collaborative godparents. You’ll get the small rewards as a bumper sticker, an anti-stress ball and a bracelet that identifies you as an active collaborator. Because for every 5 £50 pledges we’ll give a Smash-a-Ball “Founders edition” to a child. The Smash-a-Ball shipping fee to the child is included.
£180+. Super Early bird. Be the first one to receive or give a Smash-a-Ball. You’ll get a Smash-a-Ball “Founders edition”, you can tell us if this is for you or you want to donate it to a child from one of the charities that we’re working with in the UK. You’ll also get the £50 small rewards. The Smash-a-Ball delivery to the child as a gift, is included.
£190+. Early bird. Be the first one to receive or give a Smash-a-Ball. You’ll get a Smash-a-Ball “Founders edition”, you can tell us if this is for you or you want to donate it to a child from one of the charities that we’re working with in the UK. You’ll also get the £50 small rewards. The Smash-a-Ball delivery to the child as a gift, is included.
£200+. Smash-a-Ball “Founders Edition”. You’ll get a Smash-a-Ball “Founders edition”, you can tell us if this is for you or you want to donate it to a child from one of the charities that we’re working with in the UK. You’ll also get the £50 small rewards. The Smash-a-Ball delivery to the child as a gift, is included.
£390+. Two is better than one. You will get two Smash-a-Ball “Founders edition” and you can choose if you want to keep one and donate the other or donate both. You’ll also get the £50+ rewards. The Smash-a-Ball delivery fee to the child as a gift, is included.
£1,000+. Fairy Godparent. You will get the “Smash-a-Ball Combo” reward; you can choose which child will get the Smash-a-Ball “Founders edition”. Also, you’ll get a certificate as an official Smash-a-Ball fairy godparent and pictures and letters from the child you decided to help, along with reports of her/his improvements. All the shipping fees are included.
£5,000+ Our Biggest Hero. You’ll get the “Fairy Godparent” Rewards plus a delightful dinner with Smash-a-Ball’s co-founders and Aileen McGlynn (@amcglynn1), Triple Paralympic Gold medallist in Track Cycling. Accommodation for 1 person for 2 nights and 3 days are included to Manchester, UK.
Smash-a-Ball is a project that was born approximately 3 years ago among curious questions asked in college about the way visually impaired and blind children acquire all the skills that a child with full capacities develop during their childhood. With that in mind, we began working to new objectives, first to find out how visually impaired and blind children were entertained and which toys do they have already. Bad news, there were not too many options and the ones we found, were merely Braille or textured versions.
We knew we could do better, giving birth to Smash-a-Ball’s concept. From there it took us two years to build an actual and functional prototype to get tested in Mexico and the UK. We received not just good, but awesome feedback from parents, teachers and most importantly, children!
This toy was designed for visually impaired and blind children, however is not exclusive to them. Firstly, it is not only for children because grown ups can play with it as well enhancing their own cognitive skills while being entertained and engaged.
Second, is not just for visually impaired or blind children, children or teenagers with all their capacities can play with it as well. Just one twist! They have to be blindfolded so that they can’t see, therefore training their other senses and improving their skills. This improves coordination and motor skills. It might even make you better at some sports!
In brief, everybody can use it and have a great time; we recommend that the whole family join in!
- Battery operated.
- Light weight.
- Easy to clean.
Smash-a-Ball doesn’t have:
- Small pieces.
- Sharp points or edges.
Because of this, Smash-a-Ball is a safe and entertaining option for any child.
£40,000. We’ll add the Noughts and Crosses game mode.
£80,000. We’ll add a Musical game mode, to learn simple to enhance the child’s hearing, their musical intelligence, and maybe they discover a new passion!
£110,000. We’ll add the audio instructions in French and Spanish, with real voices, not just a robotic adaptation.
£150,000. We’ll have the opportunity to produce the wireless armband, which has the same functionality as the backpack but in a smaller device that can be more comfortable for some people and a perfect option for those with back problems or are in wheelchair. This will be an optional item to change your backpack with.
Risks and challenges
As we have been working with the final prototype, doing tests, and having constant conversations with component vendors. The risk factor has been reduced to logistics and any unforeseen issues in production. We’re confident in having everything on time. A serious design problem is very unlikely because of the amount of time spent on testing and designing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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