About this project
Octopus is the first icon-based watch that teaches kids good habits and the concept of time.
Octopus is for children aged 3 to 8 years old. Unlike other products on the market, it’s wearable, visual and it grows with your kids.
It’s a watch built for children who don’t yet understand time
Studies have shown that children under 8 years old don’t understand the concept of time, let alone remember what to do when a certain time rolls around. We have designed the first watch that helps them understand how parents expect them to use their time. We believe this will help children form good habits and help them to take responsibility for their actions.
Every child dreams to be a grown-up! Imagine how proud your young children would be with a watch on their arms just like you. Imagine how they would feel when the watch remind them to prepare their bag for the swimming lesson or to feed the fish before leaving: “I'm useful, I have a role to play in the family, I don't need my parents, I am autonomous!”
It works in 3 modes adapted to different stages of childhood development. Octopus can grow with your child!
The first mode helps kids understand time by association. It displays a big icon that is associated with a task to accomplish, according to a schedule set by the parent.
The second and the third modes teaches kids to read digital and analog clock.
It’s a scheduler for parents who are tired of power struggles
Parents want to promote self-discipline in children because they know it’s the foundation for later success in life. When getting ready for school devolves into one power struggle after another, everyone loses. Your child wants to have ownership over the process. Parents just want to get out the door by 8:15.
Parents program visual reminders on their smartphone that will pop up on the watch at certain times (with a discreet vibration).
It's an assistant
Octopus is an assistant for your child, but the system as a whole helps the parents too.
It helps you teach good habits to your kids without overwhelming them; It’s an educational tool. “Be consistent, coherent, predictable and clear about your expectations, teach few tasks at a time”.
It becomes a partner in parenting by helping to enact proven methodology. For example, kids learn better when given specific instructions. Octopus can help to break down tasks and go step by step. Example: Put the blocks in their container, then Tidy up the robots in their box, then come to Dinner, etc.”.
It grows with your kids
Everything is setup via an app, so Octopus can evolve with your ever-changing needs. It provides templates for routines based on age and gender. You can adjust them or create new ones from scratch. It syncs up in real time via Bluetooth. Everything is stored physically on the memory of the watch, so the system can keep track of the progress. It grows up with the kids. Some features are unlocked based on the age, like new clock faces for instance.
... and it's fun!
And of course, it’s fun for the kids. But we kept the level of distraction low. It’s a tool, not a toy! No video games, no messaging system...
There is an optional gamification feature built into the system. If it is turned on, your kid will be able to unlock virtual rewards such as special badges based on their progress.
The dashboard available on your smartphone is a great tool to track progress and provide positive reinforcement.
Octopus is mainly for kids aged 3 to 8 years old, but the sleek design is appealing even to older children (if they own a smartphone to set it up, they can use Octopus as a task manager).
Octopus can also help the kids with special needs (AD/HD, ASD, Diabetes, Down Syndrome, or executive functioning issues).
Children with special needs often require frequent prompting to complete tasks. Instead of getting in a shouting match, use Octopus as a tool for repeated prompting. Your child gets the prompts they need, parents retain their sanity, and the whole family is happier. Octopus can be used by parents in tandem with therapists, psychologists, and teachers to provide a reliable and comprehensive scheduling tool that is adept at maintaining consistency across settings.
Our mission is to reinvent how parents share time with their children: no more stress, no more power struggles, only precious moments spent focusing on what really matters: quality family moments.
The power of routines
50 years of psychological research have proven that having routines in place in the family reduces the level of stress, prevents conflicts and it helps the kids to be more organized, focused, independent, cooperative.
It makes it easier for them to assimilate good habits and it also teach them to be on schedule.
But to maintain routines it requires consistency and persistency.
Today’s fast-paced world presents many challenges because kids are exposed to a lot of distractions (TV, tablets, video games) and have more and more activities besides school. On the other hand, you, the parents, work a lot and even at home, it may be hard to disconnect from your job, your social life, etc. Consequently, spending quality time with your kids is harder, and it requires a lot of energy to teach them good habits.
Octopus is here to help you with that!
Even with more than 15 years of experience in the tech industry, building an electronic product is always a big challenge. Doing it from France or from the United-States is doable, but it takes more time, more resources and more money. We decided to apply to the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator HAX, which offers facilities in China and access to an incredible network of mentors and experts. We were selected from a large field of applicants!
HAX is in the heart of the “Silicon Valley for hardware” in Shenzhen, 40 minutes north of Hong-Kong.
One of the multiple upsides of being in Shenzhen, China, in a super equipped lab like the one of HAX is that we could produce several prototypes very fast. Making a hardware device is always a trade-off between user experience, technology and cost but we started with no limits. We didn’t want to be constrained. We wanted to explore all the possibilities that were making sense, and we wanted to test them fast.
We tested with a lot of parents and their kids. Then we realized that to reach out to more parents, we should bring schools on-board. And because we are citizen of the world, we decided to test on 3 continents!
During this testing phase, we discovered that our solution could tremendously help children born with disabilities like AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Down Syndrome, A-type diabetes, executive function issues, etc. Having members of our families dealing with the daily challenges from some of these conditions, we were very deeply motivated to improve our product even more.
We also have created an important community on Facebook and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents for their feedback, comments and encouragements.
In parallel of developments and prototyping, we conducted interviews with parents, teachers, and child specialists to define the feature set of the product. We wanted to be as efficient and simple as possible.
Watch the co-founder interview:
We received hundreds of encouragements and we can't thank our community enough for this. It has really boosted us.
The watch comes with a charging cable. An optional charging station can be purchased, which transforms into a nightlight when the watch is attached to it!
You can choose the color of the watch among blue sky, pink candy, lemon green and dark grey (we'll send an email at the end of the campaign to collect your choice).
If you want to order more than 2 watches, please send us an email at email@example.com
We are a team of passionate individuals with backgrounds in engineering, business, marketing, child development, product design, ...
Sam is a proud father of 2 kids. He loves to create technology projects that transform people’s life. He’s an entrepreneur, an author, a husband and absolutely adore exploring new cultures.
When he’s not working, he’s probably hacking some code with his son, drawing magical worlds with his daughter or travelling somewhere to spark his creativity.
Omar is a Jack of all trades. Trained as a software engineer in France, he has a strong experience designing, building, maintaining and scaling systems and infrastructure serving millions of users in both France and the US.
When he is not at work, you might find him in the workshop tinkering and hacking. Omar has a passion for taking his ideas from designs to real world objects using traditional and modern prototyping and manufacturing techniques
And because we don't know everything, we brought on board people who do!
HAX mentors & team
If you like what we're doing, share it on Facebook. It's a huge help for us.
Risks and challenges
Manufacturing a product, specially for children, is challenging, that's why we decided to partner with a tier-one manufacturing partner that builds electronic products for some of the most renowned brands.
Our estimates for delivery are conservative, and our partnerships are reliable and solid, but delays may arise from the following:
- Sourcing (specially with the display)
- FCC and Regulations
- Financial Risks
We will keep you posted on a weekly basis, and in the event of unexpected issues, we will work incessantly to minimize impact on delivery.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
At the end of the campaign, we will be sending out a form asking you for all those details (Color, address, etc) and making sure your reward matches your pledge.
The bracelet fits wrists from 3 to 12 years old, i.e from 5 1/2” to 6 1/2” (140 to 165mm).
The good news is it's a standard size band, that can be replaced easily.
It comes with a USB cable + separate plug (based on the country you live in).
Adding a GPS chip is not enough. We would also need to add a cellular chip (GSM/3G or 4G) to broadcast the GPS coordinates. It brings 5 major concerns:
- 1) the watch will emit a lot of radio-frequencies (basically like a cell phone),
- 2) you would need an additional SIM card from your carrier (additional cost),
- 3) we would need to add a lot of additional testing and certifications that would postpone the shipping date,
- 4) the watch would be bigger and would not be confortable for the younger ones,
- 5) the system would be more complex to use, and we strongly believe that what makes it very appealing is its simplicity of use, both for the kids and the parents.
However, we think that having a “virtual leach” system, based on the bluetooth makes a lot of sense. The way it could work is as soon as the child is about to be out of range, the parents would receive an alert on their smartphone. It won’t geolocate the kid, but will prevent him or her to be lost.
We are working on this feature. If we can’t build it before the shipping, rest assure that it will come as a free software update later on.
The watches are IP65. Protected from total dust ingress. Protected from low pressure water jets from any direction.We are strongly considering moving to IP67 water resistant. We'll keep you updated.
The watch works with both iOS and Android
Absolutely! 2 phones can control 1 or multiple watches so both parents can manage and see the change on the watch(es).
Kickstarter is actually a website to pre-order products. To pre-order an Octopus watch, just click on the green button on the right side “Back this project”. http://kck.st/28JCqjg
Then select which pack you need (1 watch, 1 watch + 1 companion, 2 watches, etc.) and that’s it!
Your credit card will be debited on July 22 and the product will be shipped early 2017.
PS: we’ll send a form at the end of July to collect your color choices and address.
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