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Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program to invent and play games.
Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program to invent and play games.
Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program to invent and play games.
2,312 backers pledged $241,122 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Hackaball - A computer you can throw

$241,122

2,312

Thanks Kickstarter! We are bringing Hackaball to life! 

Our Kickstarter has ended. If you missed out you can pre-order from www.hackaball.com

You can follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter or by joining our newsletter.

Meet Hackaball

Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program using an iOS or OS X app to invent and play games.

It's for kids aged 6 to 10 but we’ve seen younger children have fun with Hackaball with a little help from their siblings or parents. 

How does it work?

The computer inside Hackaball has sensors that detect motions like being dropped, bounced, kicked, shaken or being perfectly still. Children hack the ball with an iOS or OS X app which allows them to go in and change the behaviour of Hackaball to do what they want. 

The paired iOS or OS X app comes pre-loaded with several games that can be sent to Hackaball to get kids started. Once they've mastered these initial games, kids can create brand new ones using a simple building block interface, experimenting with Hackaball's sounds, LED lighting effects and rumble patterns. You can install the app on as many iPads an iPhones as you like, it's free! 

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Hackaball grows the more they play. Rewarding kids with unlockable features, challenging them with broken games to fix and the ability to share their creations with friends.

The variety of games children make and play are limited only by their imagination. Here’s some games they’ve already made.

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Hackaball is more than just games

Kids find it easy to create games to play by themselves, in pairs or in groups. But some have been thinking out of the box and found other uses for Hackaball too.

They've used Hackaball as props in plays, asked it questions like a magic 8 ball, woken up to it as an alarm clock and even pranked some parents by making it into a whoopie cushion!

We're looking forward to see what else they'll create with Hackaball. What do you think your little maker will do?

What you get in the box 

Hackaball arrives on your doorstep in our special box with a protective coloured jacket. It comes with our fun setup guide so that kids can put together Hackaball and start playing right away. There’s also a charging cable and a clever smart plug that will work in all regions.

What’s inside Hackaball?

The brains of Hackaball is a smart little computer that talks to your iPad or iPhone wirelessly. It’s nervous system is made up of a gyro, accelerometer, vibration motor, 9 LEDs, rechargeable battery, memory to store your sounds and a speaker.

How we’ve made a computer you can throw 

We wanted to make Hackaball tough and beautiful at the same time. We’ve built many prototypes and tested them with the toughest audience - children - to get this right, designing a form that’s robust and tactile but flexible and responsive too. 

The computer, sensors and displays at the heart of Hackaball sit inside a tough transparent plastic case surrounded by a circular silicone membrane; this acts as a shock absorber, fitting snugly between two translucent rubber hemispheres that snap together around it

There’s a second strong and stretchable outer jacket made from a colourful silicone skin with perforated circles, creating a playful pattern and allowing glowing LED lights to diffuse from the surface beneath it.

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Rewards

Back us now at our special Kickstarter price and your children (nieces and nephews, and other small people) will be amongst the first to get Hackaball. Our pre-order price will be higher. Save money and make some kids happy in time for the holidays, you can't get any better than that! 

Stretch goals

Hackaball will come with two coloured jackets! One in aubergine and one in another colour which backers will vote for. Here are some colours we've already created!

We’ll also now be making the Hackaball app work on iPad, iPhone and OS X! It's free so you can install it on as many devices as you like!

Your feedback is really important to us and as you're making Hackaball happen we want you to help us decide. We know you've probably had some great ideas for Hackaball too, so please let us know by emailing us: ideas@hackaball.com

Where it began

Hackaball started as an intern project at Made by Many with the simple brief - play! We wanted to give children a new way to understand technology and put them in control.

To prove our concept we drew designs, wrote code and soldered circuit boards. We made 7 working Hackaballs and tested it with over a hundred children and parents.

The prototypes we made proved kids loved the kind of open play we had envisioned. What we didn't expect, and really blew our minds was how boundless kids' creativity really is. They rose to our challenge for game creation and added drawings, paper cutouts, silly actions and strange rules to create games we could have never ever have imagined. 

Parents got behind our idea as it encourages kids to have fun and play more actively with their friends and siblings. And they also love our 'sneaky learning' principle: Hackaball teaches the basics of programming and how technology works without kids even realising it. It's learning through play.

With this enthusiasm from both kids and parents we've been working around the clock to make Hackaball into something we're really proud to show you now. We are all excited to have you on board for Hackaball's next mission!

Be part of our story

We're counting on your support to bring Hackaball to life. Reaching our $100,000 goal means we can push the big red launch button!

Back our project and share our campaign with your friends. Show our videos to your kids and see how excited they get! We want more kids to have fun with Hackaball and we can only do that with your help!

Be part of our story and we'll have Hackaballs landing on doorsteps in time for the holidays!

Our growing team

Hackaball inspired a bunch of smart and talented people to join our team. Together we developed Hackaball into something we are now proud to show the world and with your help take to production.

Made by Many partnered with industrial designers, MAP, to make Hackaball attractive, robust and simple to put together. Karl Sadler created Hackaball’s sounds, giving it an engaging and fun personality. Kudu helped with the electronics, making the magic work on the inside.

Our promise

We believe that toys for kids should be ethical as well as heaps of fun. We promise to never have in-app purchases for Hackaball. We also promise to keep Hackaball's design and language gender neutral to empower kids to personalise the app the way they like.

We promise that with your support and ongoing feedback we'll keep on improving. We've got some ideas in the pipeline already but we want you to let us know what we could do with Hackaball. 

What if Hackaballs could interact with each other? How about if we worked on other projects like a Hackabat? Imagine how engaging Hackaball would be in a classroom!

Being funded won't stop us! Hackaball has so much potential. We want to keep going to the outer limits!

A huge thank you from all of us!

Alex Harding, Rachel Mercer, Melissa Coleman, William Owen, Owen Thomas, Mike Walker, Richard Ling, Stuart Eccles, Tom Harding, Nelson Sasche, Julian James, Andrew Nip, Heather Taylor-Portmann,  Ben King, Tom Nadin, Jon Marshall, Jacky Chung, Julie Arrive, Karl Sadler, Alex Du Preez and Peter Krige.

Keep following our story

Join our mailing list on the Hackaball website

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Risks and challenges

We will do our absolute best to deliver Hackaball on time and on spec. We are an experienced team that has worked on numerous Kickstarter funded projects. MAP worked with the Kano computer kit, Peter from Kudu was part of the team that released Touchboard and Richard was Product Manager for Foldable.Me and Projecteo. Our experience means we know how to take a Kickstarter funded project to market.

We've been conservative with our timeline estimates. We know that it won't be plain sailing and have accounted for problems that might arise. You'll never be left hanging as we want to you be part of our process every step of the way as we continue to develop and deliver Hackaball.

Our passionate team are prepared to go all out to make this happen and promise our backers to bring Hackaball to life despite any obstacles that may appear.

If you have any questions you can always reach us on hello@hackaball.com

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FAQ

  • We plan to ship Hackaball from warehouses in Philadelphia and London.

    For US backers, Hackaball will be shipped from Philadelphia. Only backers in New York may be charged additional sales tax.

    For UK backers, Hackaball will be shipped from London. You will not have to pay additional VAT, customs or duty charges to receive Hackaball.

    For international backers, Hackaball will be shipped from London. We will ship Hackaball worldwide, with the exception of Cuba, Myanmar/Burma, Iran, Sudan, Syria, and Russia. Please note that you may be responsible for duties, fees and taxes applicable to your region.

    Last updated:
  • Hackaball is splash proof as the jacket and pod keep the computer safe. But we wouldn’t recommend playing with it in the bath (sorry rubber ducky!).

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  • We want to make Hackaball as accessible as possible. We've made Android app one of our stretch goals. Please help back and share Hackaball to make it happen!

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  • We're looking into supporting more languages. However, we've designed the app to be very visual and not rely on text. We've tested our designs with kids and those that had difficulty reading could still understand how to play through our animated icons. That's one of the benefits of our more visual programming interface.

    Last updated:
  • We've made Hackaball so that it can store a game. Kids can create inside then go play with Hackaball outside without the need of a constantly paired device.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    SUPPORT HACKABALL - You're helping us bring Hackaball to life for a new generation of makers! To say thanks, you'll be the first in the know. Getting exclusive updates and behind the scenes extras.

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    107 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    SUPPORT HACKABALL MORE - Even if you don't have kids you can still help bring Hackaball to life for a new generation of makers! Just think of all those little smiling faces! To say thanks, you'll get exclusive updates, behind the scenes extras and your name proudly displayed in the app.

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    20 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    THE HACKABALL STORY - You'll get an exclusive inside scoop on how we came up with the idea for Hackaball, inspired loads of kids and brought a team together to get it to Kickstarter. Including footage of how to design fart sounds! Plus all the above!

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    30 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    HACKABALL GAME DEVELOPER - You'll get to use the app before anyone else. Create games that could feature in the final product. If your games are chosen we'll credit you as a game developer! Together we'll make it awesome! Plus all the above!

    Exclusive only to 1000 and doesn't come with other Hackaball pledge options.

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    Limited 54 backers
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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    HACKABALL + FREE APP (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL) - Be the first to support us. You'll get it for less and more importantly your kids will think you are the coolest!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 500 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    HACKABALL + FREE APP - Be amongst the first to throw, bounce and kick Hackaball!

    Exclusive Kickstarter price! Pre-order and retail will be more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1,186 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    2 x HACKABALL + FREE APP - Perfect if you have a pair of active and creative kids!

    Exclusive Kickstarter price! Pre-order and retail will be more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    290 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    3 x HACKABALL + FREE APP - Great for a trio of hackers!

    Exclusive Kickstarter price! Pre-order and retail will be more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    54 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $330 or more About $330

    5 x HACKABALL + FREE APP - For a team of hackers. In 5 years time they'll be asking for Kickstarter funding.

    Exclusive Kickstarter price! Pre-order and retail will be more.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    23 backers
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    DONATE TO A SCHOOL - Support coding in schools! They'll get 5 Hackaballs. We'll teach an inspiring 1 hour lesson through video call. You'll get an amazing sense of gratification in knowing you made the world better for us and the kids!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    MEET THE TEAM - You'll get to know the team personally, learn about our processes and play with our prototypes. We promise you an amazing and inspiring time! We'll send you a pair of Hackaballs too! (UK only but we'll pay for your travel and 1 nights stay in London)

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    Ships to Only United Kingdom
    Limited 2 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    PARTNER WITH US - You'll spend 2 days with us (flight and stay included). Meet the team and be one of the first to explore potential partnerships with us. We will make sure you have a fun, inspiring and amazing time!

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    1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)