Project image
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$10,037
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
109
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 18 2015 8:33 AM UTC +00:00
DXTR Labs, IncBy DXTR Labs, Inc
First created
DXTR Labs, IncBy DXTR Labs, Inc
First created
$10,037
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
109
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 18 2015 8:33 AM UTC +00:00

About

 What is playDXTR?

playDXTR combines the fun physical play of building blocks with advanced wireless connected technology. The technology embedded in the blocks observes, monitors, and quantifies the child's cognitive development. Your child gets a fun, challenging, personalized, and motivational toy, while you get an empowering tool that gives you actionable reports about your child.

playDXTR is a platform for quantifying play, and that is the essence of a 21st century playground.

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 How did we come up with playDXTR?

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Your child will love the seamless, almost natural connection between the limitless digital world, and the amazingingly intuitive physical building blocks.
Your child will love the seamless, almost natural connection between the limitless digital world, and the amazingingly intuitive physical building blocks.

To your child – playDXTR is a great toy. But, it also works to motivate and challenge the children, all while training their capability to understand instructions, think creatively, to fail, as well as evaluate and solve problems.

Children are prompted by the app to build things and arrange the blocks in certain ways. While the child plays with the blocks, every movement is monitored and analyzed in the background.  Both iOS and Android devices are supported.

Example of a game provided for younger children.
Example of a game provided for younger children.

But that’s just half the story!

Not only is playDXTR a fun toy for the children, you as a parent will also get a clear picture of your child’s competencies as well as intelligent suggestions for games, challenges, and activities that will strengthen your child’s various talents.

This is your opportunity to know where, when, and how to embrace your child’s natural potential and confidence through playful learning.

We are determined to use technology to empower parents everwhere to make better, more informed decisions regarding their child's development. Both iOS and Android devices are supported.
We are determined to use technology to empower parents everwhere to make better, more informed decisions regarding their child's development. Both iOS and Android devices are supported.

The real-time data will be displayed on the device of your choice, giving you the opportunity to know where, when, and how to embrace your child's natural potential and confindence through playful learning.

Depending on the task and focus, we can collect information on different competencies and talents like:

Critical Thinking
Problem Solving
Planning
Long-term and short-term memory
Creativity
Fine and gross motor Skills
Decision Making
Attention Span
- to name a few.

All the information and data about how your child performs, builds, and struggles is presented to you in an easily digestible dashboard.
All the information and data about how your child performs, builds, and struggles is presented to you in an easily digestible dashboard.

In other words, playDXTR is a toy which gives you real time information about your child’s developmental progress. And the best part of this? All of this happens while your kids are playing and having fun! 

The parent app will show a variety of insight of the child´s development, aswell as provide tools and suggestions for activities that are beneficial for the child.
The parent app will show a variety of insight of the child´s development, aswell as provide tools and suggestions for activities that are beneficial for the child.

 Teachers see the potential

 Psychologists see the potential

All the magnets, electronics, and games are worth nothing if the children don't enjoy the toy. We have taken great care to design our blocks so they'll make your mind wander the second you put your hands on them. And then we connect them to a tablet.
All the magnets, electronics, and games are worth nothing if the children don't enjoy the toy. We have taken great care to design our blocks so they'll make your mind wander the second you put your hands on them. And then we connect them to a tablet.
A child´s mind is a beautiful thing. playDXTR wants to keep it that way.
A child´s mind is a beautiful thing. playDXTR wants to keep it that way.
The inside counts, and so does the outside.  It's the intelligent combination of both that make playDXTR and our Kubits special. Lots of brains, good looks, and a great personality to boot.  ;)
The inside counts, and so does the outside. It's the intelligent combination of both that make playDXTR and our Kubits special. Lots of brains, good looks, and a great personality to boot. ;)
Our beta program is an opportunity for parents to be at the cutting edge of educational technology, where a tactile developmental experience meets a digital tool-set.
Our beta program is an opportunity for parents to be at the cutting edge of educational technology, where a tactile developmental experience meets a digital tool-set.

Everyone backing for a beta playDXTR on Kickstarter is automatically part of the beta program. You will thus be one of the very first people in the world to try out our smart building blocks. But not only that, you will also ba able to shape playDXTR in these final stages of development!

EDIT after campaign: BETA purchases have opened on our homepage www.playdxtr.com. Join, and get your hands on 1 in only 100 available BETA sets!

You won't need to be a developer to take part of the beta program. All you need is yourself, your lovely children, a bunch of curiosity, and a willingness to give us active and passive feedback on games, activities, challenges, and other ideas. 

Most of our rewards contain beta versions of the hardware. The beta hardware will be fully functional with functional accompanying beta sofware.

As your child learns, so does playDXTR, and the software will be updated and improved as the beta program progresses.

So, what is needed from you? Pick your reward and let's embrace the potential of play!

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playDXTR is brought to you by an awesome bunch of guys and two girls from DXTR Tactile. We are a small, international, and playful group of people. 13 friends, with 6 different nationalities, based in 5 different countries.

We work as long as our eyes can stay open to make playDXTR happen, and we are really enjoying the amazing ride that we are on. We all look forward to getting to know you - our amazing early adaptors. Please don't hesitate to reach out with anything - big or small! We'd love to hear your thoughts, concerns and ideas.

Then let's dig a little deeper! First up some of the lingo we use to describe the different part of our Kubits. Warning, this will get a bet technical...
Then let's dig a little deeper! First up some of the lingo we use to describe the different part of our Kubits. Warning, this will get a bet technical...

The Carrier

This is what we call the inside of the cube and it is the dark plastic parts you'll see on this page and videos. These parts are holding all the wiring and connection ports for intra-Kubit communication as well as charing. The carrier will also double as the magnet fixture inside the Kubits, holding our ball magnets nicely aligned in the corners, while allowing enough room to move, spin, and align to the strongest magnetic field combined with other magnets.

The Body

This is the white outer shell that you see in our feature video. Right now we are working a lot with just 3D printed housings. These are fast to create and assemble, and they are perfect for design iterations with children, mocking up games and activities. This has been, and will be, an important part of the running development - to be able to test and try game ideas without writing a single line of code and Mechanical Turk-ing the game is highly effective for immediate feedback and fast design iterations.

When we finish Alpha 3 in the coming weeks we will marry the Carrier and the Body in preparation for the first beta-batch. These Beta-sets will take all the learnings from the 3 Alphas and combine them into a lovely glossy and smooth building block.

Now let's take a look at the current state of affairs: We are currently assembling the Alpha 2 carriers, which will hold all the functionality currently spread out on pieces of hardware. In the video below we showcase the basic functionalities like bluetooth communications, light control, motion sensing, as well as a short intro to the Alpha 2 carrier. We look forward to updating you on the process with Alpha 3. We're really excited for this last Alpha iteration!

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So what is on that board going into the next Alpha you saw in the video above?
- 32-bit Microprocessor- State-of-the-art Low-power Inertial Measurement Unit
- 6 (2,82 Million colors) RGB LEDs
- Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
- Bluetooth Low Energy

The board connects to the the carrier through a board connector, which breaks out to all communication ports of the carrier (the small round pads).

Using the connections on the side of the Kubits allows them to communicate directly with their neighboring Kubits. When all Kubits are accounted for in a structure, all the data from each individual Kubit is compared against the others, which gives a binary picture of the whole Kubit structure.

Meanwhile a state of the art IMU keeps track of the Kubits orientation and movement. Here we track raw data to be sure that we don't miss out on valuable information which could vanish via transforms and derivations.

This data can be used to control a variation of games that require movement in any kind of direction. Meaning that the Kubit that is moved provides a live feed through the base-station to the smart device like an iPad. Thereby the children can see the Kubits moving directly on the screen while they are moving them around in the real world.

Combining the binary structure with the orientation of all the individual entities in the dataset enables us to get a precise idea of how each kubit is interconnected and facing, as well as the orientation and the movement of the structure or individual parts of for instance a man waving his arm/hand.

All the Kubits are managed by the base station. It’s design is much like what you know from a raspberry pi, with a bit of tinkering and secret sauce. The base station also handles charging of the Kubits. When the Kubits are placed on top of it, the base station verifies the Kubits and asks them to enter their charging mode. During charging the base station connects to the playDXTR cloud system and uploads all the raw data in an end to end encrypted package.

Together with the sensory data the base station will also upload a unique session ID.this is done so that there is no need to put any of your personal information into the cloud, we store all the data compartmentalized and anonymous relative to a user ID which is how the app identifies with the derived data in the parent app.

The connection between the base station and the child smart device happens via bluetooth (or a wifi link?) This connection is how the iPad knows what is going in the real world. And having the base station do all the calculations gives the Kubits and the iPad plenty of battery life for a lot of fun and games. From the iPad the child app sends commands via the basestation to the Kubits, this could be anything from orientation update requests to changing the RGB Leds to any of it's 2,82 million colors.

From the cloud ecosystem the data is sent to the parent app, however instead of sending raw data we do a lot of calculations and quantification in order to serve up easily understandable metrics for any parent.

After the initial Kickstarter launch we will be working on making sure that the data collection mechanisms work as intended and monitor data usage in order to optimize for usage in data capped areas. Our 3 week release cycles in the kickstarter testing phase should ensure new things to do and new things to learn for children, parents, researchers and developers.

We aim to continuously update and improve your play experience. An update will automatically roll out first to the base station and then it will apply the update to the Kubits over the air, no hassle, not restarts, just better fun!

Initially we will be testing different algorithms running on the base-station, and then later go onto optimizing the behavior of the Kubits themselves based on the first large data batch (this would include things like optimized charge timing, moving more features to the part of the Kubits engine that run only while it is awake (for better power management).

Together with our partners from USA, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark we will be developing the final process for the production of all the hardware. Mostly fine-tuning the design and production tools for larger scale manufacturing.

Moving onwards to the next generation of Kubits we hope to learn enough from the data collected by you our trusted beta users, which will possibly allow us to decentralize some of the management functionality from the base-station to get better response times in real time games.

On the software side of things we would like to build the platform around the users, for the users, and with the help of the users. Which is why we aim to make as much of the code we use open source, so that play can be better for everyone.

On top of making the software on the base-station, and in the Kubits run as openly as possible we want you guys to decide which should go on the platform, and also to figure out new types of games for everyone. This is why we are planning to release an SDK for game developers where you get a simple API to interact with the Kubits.

In order to let parents look at the data in any way they want, we are envisioning a cloud ecosystem where you can seamlessly integrate with custom plugins to change the way you view the data.

As the Kubit basically are mini computers, we are planning an SDK for the Kubits themselves for easy OTA (Over The Air) programming of the individual Kubits (via a Bluetooth enabled smart device) to help teach children of all ages to code their own Kubits.

Team DXTR’s journey - form South Danish University spinout to the world's smartest building blocks
Team DXTR’s journey - form South Danish University spinout to the world's smartest building blocks

When did playDXTR begin? You could say it started two years ago when Rene, Mikkel, Frederik, and Kenneth formed the company and began rapidly prototyping the building blocks we hope to ship worldwide in 2016.

But really it started many years ago - and we’re not saying how many - during our childhoods, when playing took up most of our creative energy and time. We never lost our sense of wonder and our desire for play and fun. 

Technology has opened up new avenues for play. It’s bonkers really. The fact that we were able to outfit each playDXTR building block with its own control unit, sensor, battery, and wireless and wired communication is insane. Those of you with the slightest insight into technology and manufacturing, can probably imagine the insanity. 

For two years we’ve poured our hearts and souls into this little yet not-so-little project. You can measure it in the cups of coffee, the grey hairs, and the engineering hours we’ve given to bringing playDXTR to where it is today. 

The old adage says if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. We love this project and we’re passionate about bringing it to life.

playDXTR combines the fun physical play of building blocks with advanced wireless connected technology. The technology embedded in the blocks observes, monitors, and quantifies the child's cognitive development. This is what we mean by a 21st century playground.

Your child gets a fun, challenging, personalized, and motivational toy, while you get an empowering tool that gives you actionable reports about your child.

playDXTR is more than a toy and more than a tool.

The combination between physical building blocks and digital technology help your child find a healthy balance between a hands-on off-screen toy and the screen-based digital world. We are bringing play back to its physical tactile roots, while we bring toys toward the future by leveraging modern techology with good old-fashioned play.

playDXTR combines the fun physical play of building blocks with advanced wireless connected technology. The technology embedded in the blocks observes, monitors, and quantifies the child's cognitive development. playDXTR is a platform for quantifying play, that is the essence of a 21st century playground.

Your child gets a fun, challenging, personalized, and motivational toy, while you get an empowering tool that gives you actionable reports about your child.

Risks and challenges

playDXTR is still in beta, but we’re confident playDXTR is on its way to being your child’s favorite toy.

We hope our backers will understand that they’re receiving a beta version of playDXTR. We’re working hard to get as many of the kinks out as possible before we put playDXTR in your hands, but we know there might be hiccups and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

The fact is, we need your children to help us improve playDXTR! They are our best experts in terms of improving and finalizing our product.

It would be amazingly old-fashioned and ignorant of us to develop such a toy only to try to force-feed it to our end user - kids - without their participation in the design. playDXTR is anything but old-fashioned or ignorant.

This Kickstarter is our way of getting playDXTR into the hands of a large group of parents and their children to figure out the most engaging way to present the data it collects. Crowdsourcing makes this possible.

That being said, participating in the Beta program can be tough. Bugs are inevitable, and your child might lose interest if the toy has an issue. We’ll really need your help to re-engage your child after we fix the problem. It’s a lot to ask. As parents ourselves, we know how much we’re asking of you.

On the other hand, when you back playDXTR, you’re shaping the future of play. You and your child are helping to make a fundamental paradigm shift in how children play, interact with, and engage their physical and digital worlds.

You and your child will have the opportunity to improve child development and early learning for every child, everywhere.

Let’s embrace the potential of play and launch playDXTR together!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Stickers everywhere - Humorous Karl the Kubit Stickers to put up and show your support for a connected smart future for our children.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Toddler t-shirt - Massively awesome t-shirt that shows the world you support smart connected educational and developmental toys. Oh, and stickers too!

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    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    Limited mini Beta backer - Eight of the very first production ready Beta Kubits of playDXTR. The latest software will be provided and updated throughout the beta program. Did we mention the stickers are included? We'll try to have the stickers with you in time for christmas, so your children can know what is coming.

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    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    Limited Super Early Beta Bird - Beta-version of the full playDXTR. These are the absolutely first production ready Beta sets of 27 Kubits to leave the factory. The latest software will be provided and updated throughout the beta program. Of course you will be sporting a set of Karl the Kubit Stickers to boot, which we will do our utmost to have with you in time for christmas so your young ones can know what is coming.

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    Pledge $179 or more About $179

    Limited Early Beta Bird - Beta-version of the full playDXTR set. These production ready Beta playDXTR sets of 27 Kubits leave the factory right after the Super Early Birds. The latest software will be provided and updated throughout the beta program. We will do our utmost to get you your Karl the Kubit Stickers in time for Christmas to let your young ones know what is coming.

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    Pledge $255 or more About $255

    Developer Beta kit - Are you a budding developer? Get 2 early Alpha-version Kubit prototypes (two cubes, the Alpha 3 is going into manufacturing shortly) to start hacking away. Free access to our hackerspace is also included. The latest software will be provided and updated throughout the beta program. For every extra $20 you pledge, you will receive an extra Alpha Kubit. Oh, and 3 Karl the Kubit stickers are also included.

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    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    Super Leet Developer Beta kit - The 10 fastest developers out there will get FULL SET of early Alpha-version prototypes (27 cubes, the Alpha 3 is going into manufacturing shortly) to start hacking away, with free access to our hackerspace included. When the Beta-version hardware is ready, we'll ship another full set in your direction. The latest software will be provided and updated throughout the beta program. Three Karl the Kubit stickers will also be there to help out, rubber-ducking while debugging.

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    Pledge $599 or more About $599

    Pay it forward - The donation reward - You and a learning institution of your choice will each receive a production Beta-version of playDXTR. Help us get playDXTR into classrooms - making edTech a whole lot smarter. We suggest you talk this over with a teacher or someone from the school board first, so we can make sure everyone gets the most out of participating in the Beta program. You'll also receive 3 Karl the Kubit stickers. The latest software will be provided and updated throughout the beta program, and we will work closely with the school on developing the educational side of playDXTR.

    We'd like to help out with the shipping on this one.

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    Pledge $1,599 or more About $1,599

    The Billund Resort Experience - You will get 1 in 5 private production ready Beta playDXTR sets, and a weekend at LEGOLAND Resort for yourself and three guests (2+children or 1+children) together with our development team. This exclusive and private hackathon gives you a hands on experience of developing for playDXTR. Two night accommodation & half board + two day admission to the LEGOLAND® Resort is included - flights are not included. But Karl the Kubit stickers are. Other terms may apply (visa eligibility and the sorts). The latest software for the Beta set will be provided and updated throughout the beta program.

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Funding period

- (30 days)