AlphaTechBlocks - Learning A B C's thru Tech & Touch
The charm of traditional alphabet blocks combined with the power of technology. Preschoolers learn letters in English & Spanish.
AlphaTechBlocks look and feel like traditional alphabet blocks. The key difference is the TECH! AlphaTechBlocks are designed to work interactively with our mobile apps to create fun learning experiences and games for toddlers and preschoolers to learn letters and words in ENGLISH and SPANISH. It’s an extraordinary learning experience that conveniently happens right on your Apple iPhone or iPad!
AlphaTechBlocks are comprised of 27 letter blocks. We’ve included the extra Spanish letter “Ñ” to provide you with a complete set of both the English and Spanish alphabet. Of course, our mobile apps are bilingual. AlphaTechBlocks come with three free mobile apps. Kickstarter packages that include AlphaTechBlocks will receive free future mobile apps for life.
How Does the AlphaTechBlock Actually Work?
Made of safe and durable rubber, AlphaTechBlocks do not utilize Bluetooth or fallible technology. Instead, a capacitive component in the rubber enables the natural electric current of human touch to activate its technology. When the child places the block on the screen, uniquely coded capacitive touch points trigger an entertaining story or learning experience. Our proprietary design and technology is PATENT PENDING.
Mobile Apps + Lovable Characters = A One-of-a-Kind Experience
We are all wired for story, especially children. That’s why we are confident that the whimsical stories and colorful characters from our Pepe Loves Books series will create a magical and compelling story world through our AlphaTechBlock apps. Children will fall in love with Pepe and his friends making learning imaginative, fun, and appealing. Our characters and stories were a huge success at the Miami International Book Fair in November of 2014.
Three apps are in development: one for toddlers, the second for three to four-year olds, and a third app will prepare children for kindergarten. Plans to build at least six apps a year are under way (our ultimate goal is nine apps a year). This will enable AlphaTechBlocks to offer children fresh learning experiences throughout the year. Kickstarter pledges for the AlphaTechBlocks package only, will receive all future apps for free. (Updated online registration required for notification and to download key to download free apps.)
AFTER our Kickstarter campaign, AlphaTechBlocks purchasers will only receive the first three apps for free and will be able to purchase future apps through the Apple App store. We will also be offering Android apps through Google Play in late 2016 or 2017.
Versatile Multi-Sensory Play Environments
The reality is that even top childhood research institutions don’t know enough about how much tech time is too much for young learners with developing brains. Subsequently, we recommend using discretion and common sense when utilizing any technology with young developing minds. Luckily, AlphaTechBlocks are not just a tech toy. Their colorful, sturdy, and waterproof design make them wonderful for physical, tactile play. AlphaTechBlocks even float so the are perfect in the bathtub or pool.
Additionally, we designed the block so that when it’s pressed into a soft substance like PlayDoh or kinetic sand the letter will make a visible imprint.
Toddlers will benefit from this type of play as it develops fine motor skills while older preschoolers will enjoy kinesthetic learning in multiple creative settings.
Learning on the Go
Our soft, all-natural muslin AlphaTechBlocks backpack with handy drawstrings makes it convenient and fun for children to bring their AlphaTechBlocks anywhere they go: the beach, family outings, play dates, or the park.
Safety, Engineering, and Design
AlphaTechBlocks are built for longevity. Our blocks are designed with a SAFE, soft rubber material vs. using Bluetooth or electrical components that will fall apart over time. As mentioned, our rubber is capacitive enabling the natural electric current emanating from a child’s hand to activate the uniquely constructed bottom of the block to bring funny stories and games to life related to each letter.
Blue Ring Technologies, our vendor, has been an integral part of our engineering and design process. Their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and proven expertise in developing prototypes made them a natural choice, which ensures a timely and quality driven manufacturing process. Additionally, Blue Ring Technologies is located within 21 miles from our creative studio in Miami, Florida.
Pepe Loves Books
This creative and unique bilingual book series was created to promote early literacy in toddler and young children. Brain research has proven that early bilingualism increases the brain’s plasticity and equips children for a better learning future.
Our Commitment to Education Principles
We share the same concerns that parents have concerning passive learning in today’s digital world. Our founder is a mother, grandmother, and an experienced education activist. AlphaTechBlocks were created to ensure that your child’s first digital experience would be centered around learning and literacy while using as many senses as possible. What could be better than your child’s first memory of a digital device being an amazing way to learn their ABC’s with delightful characters and captivating stories?
Our apps are designed using the key principles of early education such as curiosity, confidence, and resiliency. As always, we are open to feedback from the educational community, parents, and children to whom we ultimately serve. We want to create the highest quality experience surrounding our products, books, and apps.
We were invited to participate in the "Tech on Deck" exhibit at the 2015 National Association for the Education of Young Children in Orlando. Here are some of the comments:
Pepe is our star. As Pepe’s popularity grew, it seemed only natural to create a puppet in his likeness so kids could love him in person! Since this is our first edition run of Peppet, we only produced a little over 400 Peppets to offer through our Kickstarter packages. Peppet is made of a soft, plushy fabric making him cuddly as well as a learning puppet. And, of course, Peppet is safe for infants.
We are excited to have you join the AlphaTechBlocks community. Thank you so much for your support!
Risks and challenges
We have been working for over a year on AlphaTechBlocks. In our process, we have built a strong support network/team of engineers, early childhood experts, and mobile app software developers. We have worked closely with Blue Ring Technologies to develop a design that considers child safety requirements while keeping our costs reasonable so that families can afford our blocks.
The main challenges we see are:
In order to be ready for the manufacturing phase, we developed a 3D printed prototype for each letter (27 letters in total for English/Spanish blocks) using the same CADD software program that will be utilized in the creation of the steel molds used in the manufacturing process. We chose Blue Ring Technologies as our prototype/manufacturing vendor because of their excellent reputation in both prototyping and in small run manufacturing. We will continue to be deeply involved in the next stage of mold making and the production services process.
We have developed the code for each unique combination of capacitive points on the bottom of each of the 27 blocks. We have tested the code and capacitive point placement for each letter to prevent false positives and ensure proper responsivity. Our focus is now to fine-tune our existing letter stories and games and complete the rest of the alphabet stories and games so that they will delight young learners. We are confident that we can complete our three different level apps for the Apple App Store by June of 2016.
Meeting Child Safety Standards:
Our goal is to meet or exceed child safety standards in the U.S. and other countries when it comes to design and materials. We will be hiring a toy certification consultant to ensure we meet the requirements of the ASTM F963 Toy Safety Standard and any export/import requirements.
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