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$6,726 pledged of $45,000 goal
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By MessagePetz, Inc.
$6,726 pledged of $45,000 goal
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About this project

Make Your Text Messages Huggable!

MessagePetz is a private, huggable messaging platform for families.

It's tough to be away from your kids because of a business trip or even simply going to work for the day.  MessagePetz are an easy, fun way to stay in touch with your children and loved ones when you are apart.

What is a MessagePetz?

Hi! I'm your MessagePetz!
Hi! I'm your MessagePetz!

MessagePetz are WiFi-enabled smart Teddy Bears that make it easy for a child without a smartphone to receive and send text messages with their families.

Heart lights up to tell your loved ones that they have a message
Heart lights up to tell your loved ones that they have a message

Simply by hugging their MessagePetz, your child can let you know that they've received your message and automatically send you a reply text message, securely.  

The MessagePetz Teddy Bear is supported by the free MessagePetz smartphone app.  

MessagePetz Messaging: the first child-friendly messaging app

MessagePetz and our companion messaging app were designed with you and your children in mind.

We teamed up with our partners Keith and Ken Hanson of Twin Engine Labs and their awesome team in Shreveport, LA to help design the app.  

Twin Engine Labs built the multiple-award-winning iPad app for the Oscar winning short animation produced by William Joyce’s Moonbot Studios, The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore.   When Twin Engine agreed to help create MessagePetz, we all knew we had the opportunity to do something great!  

The MessagePetz messaging app allows you to easily send and receive messages from your children with a few taps on your smartphone. 

MessagePetz Hug Notification Screen And Dialog Screen
MessagePetz Hug Notification Screen And Dialog Screen

The MessagePetz app is ‘closed’ so only those you’ve added to your account can send and receive messages inside your network. There are no social media components, which ensures that your messages stay completely private between you and your loved ones.  

At MessagePetz, our mission is to create deeper and richer family connections while protecting your privacy.

How does MessagePetz work?

We designed MessagePetz to be easy to use and set up. 

First, simply download our app to your smartphone. The app will walk you through a one-time set up process to connect your MessagePetz to your home WiFi network.

You can now send a hug, a kiss, or an "I love you" to your loved ones with just a few taps on your phone.  There is also a mobile web version of the app.

Easy to use
Easy to use

When you tap the emotion icon, the message is sent to your child’s MessagePetz Teddy Bear and you will immediately receive a confirmation notification that the message has been sent. You can also type in short personal messages to send if your child is at reading level.

The huggable messaging experience.

When your child’s MessagePetz receives a message, its LED heart will light up.   Your child hugs or squeezes the MessagePetz to retrieve the message - the MessagePetz is now in “Reply” mode. 

I have a message for you!
I have a message for you!

The MessagePetz app will then automatically send a confirmation message to your smartphone that your message was received, completing the message loop.

This confirmation message can even be special; you will receive custom messages you and your child agree on, such as “Peter loves you, too” or “Stephanie hugs you a ton back!” if you sent a hug message.

Have more than one child?

Multiple MessagePetz Teddy Bears can be associated with one MessagePetz family account.  

MessagePetz is secure

No one outside of your private network can send a message to any of your MessagePetz, unless you first give them access.  You decide who to add to your network and who to delete. Your privacy and security are very important to us and we are COPPA compliant.

MessagePetz will be pursuing certification from the kidSAFE Seal Program. The kidSAFE Seal Program is an independent certification service and seal program that reviews and certifies the safety practices of children-friendly websites and applications, including kid-targeted game sites, virtual worlds, social networks, PC and mobile apps, web-connected devices, and other similar online and interactive products. Visit www.kidsafeseal.com to learn more.

Developers, Makers, Creators, join our open source ecosystem!

When you pledge to MessagePetz, you will not only play a key role in helping us get into production, but you will also be unlocking the gate to a fantastic world for makers, artists, tinkerers, and dreamers all over the world!

Make me your own!
Make me your own!

MessagePetz are powered by open source Linux software.  We encourage the open source software community to come up with new ways to use MessagePetz.  We will make an SDK and API for third party integration available for you prior to the initial Teddy Bear ship date.

We are equipping MessagePetz with a pretty powerful little computer inside, so you can expect some very cool features to be available involving sound, images, and more!

We hope artists, writers and designers will have fun creating stories, clothes and other accessories for MessagePetz.

We will even offer assistance and support you with free ‘MessagePetz Official Partner’ status if you agree to abide by our MessagePetz Partner Code: Be Nice and Treat People Fairly.

Meet the MessagePetz team

King, Glenn, and Adam at the Mama Bear 2013 Family Tech Conference, May 10, 2013
King, Glenn, and Adam at the Mama Bear 2013 Family Tech Conference, May 10, 2013

Hi Kickstarters!

The MessagePetz team met at Startup Weekend Lehigh Valley in November 2012. We were part of another team that won the Sponsor’s Choice Award. Shortly after our Startup Weekend, King came up with the idea for MessagePetz.

We’ve bootstrapped our way through several rounds of prototyping and have received fantastic customer feedback on MessagePetz from kids and adults of all ages through each round of prototyping. We are now ready to begin production of MessagePetz, but we’ll need your support to begin.

The First Prototypes!
The First Prototypes!
The prototype Arduino board, pressure switch, WiFi shield, and Smart Power Base of the final prototype
The prototype Arduino board, pressure switch, WiFi shield, and Smart Power Base of the final prototype

Current Production Specifications:

  • Linux OS
  • ARM Processor
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • 1.8" TFT LCD
  • Codec Audio
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 256 MB Flash Memory
  • Li-Polymer Battery

Your pledge will help with the cost of tooling and other production set-up expenses, such as molds for the electronics case inside the Teddy Bear.

We have already lined up suppliers here in the USA for the plush Teddy Bear and the other components.

Thank You for your pledge!!
Thank You for your pledge!!

We have so much more we want to tell you about MessagePetz, so we’ve created a pretty comprehensive FAQ to answer your questions. If you don’t see your question addressed in the FAQ, please drop us a line.

Risks and challenges

We have worked hard to minimize any risks to the success of this project. We are experienced engineers, designers, project managers, and business people and have partnered with some of the best in the business to produce our Teddy Bears, electronics, and apps.

We are making MessagePetz in the USA. Each MessagePetz will proudly wear a "Made in USA" tag.

We have watched and learned from other successful Kickstarter campaigns, and we also sought the advice of some of those project creators, such as MTS Ventures and 3Doodler.

We applied this knowledge and experience to our own project planning and are working very hard to ensure that if you support us, we will exceed your expectations!

By the way, in addition to giving us an award at Startup Weekend, MTS Ventures worked with us on our prototypes. That’s where Matt got the idea for his own successful Kickstarter project, the Smart Power Base. A Smart Power Base is powering the MessagePetz prototype featured on this page.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    BIG BEAR HUG! Thanks for your contribution and support! You'll also be updated on all MessagePetz news!!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BIG BEAR HUG & KISS! A cool MessagePetz Tee-Shirt to say Thank You!

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    5 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $89 or more About $89

    EARLY BEAR SPECIAL!! Reserve a March 2014 MessagePetz at the BEST PRICE EVER!!

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    Pledge $129 or more About $129

    THE 2014 VALENTINE BEAR! We will custom embroider your loved one's name on the other foot of the MessagePetz!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $139 or more About $139

    2013 HOLIDAY BEARS! Get one of the first MessagePetz in time for the Holidays!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $139 or more About $139

    LAST CHANCE FOR A DEAL! You may have missed the best deal and the 2013 Holiday shipment, but you can still get a MessagePetz below the expected retail price of $149.95, plus FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING!

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  7. Select this reward

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

    HELP PICK THE NEXT MESSAGEPETZ. Help us decide the next MessagePetz to design and the colors! Plus we'll send a MessagePetz in time for the 2013 Holidays and includes free shipping!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    TEAM VISIT! Join us in Red Bank, NJ to visit with the MessagePetz team. We'll commemorate your visit with signed and framed photos of you and the team. We'll plan some great meals and other surprises! We'll be flexible in scheduling. Travel and lodging costs are your responsibility, but we'll help you arrange things. We'll also ship a MessagePetz in your choice of color in time for the 2013 Holidays!

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Funding period

- (30 days)