Guitar Now helps aspiring guitarists strum without getting fingers numb

The road to learning any musical instrument is littered with pain, heartache, frustration, and the nagging urge to quit. The last one is so great that most people do so, despite the myriad of benefits that come from playing a musical instrument.

While the guitar is one of the more accessible instruments, it also makes it the one most give up trying to learn. Guitar Now is designed to make it a lot easier to grasp the foundations of the easy-to-learn but hard-to-master instrument. It’s comprised of three parts: a collar that wraps around the guitar’s neck, a top plate that fastens to its front side, and a range of sliding inserts. Each of these inserts is key to the Guitar Now concept because each employs a design that guides a new learner’s fingers directly to the strings that need to be played, at once teaching finger, form, and chord placement.

Music Tablet Accessories

The One is for the two hands playing an iPad-enabled piano

The history of interfaces and gadgets aimed at helping people learn to play piano stretches back at least 25 years to the release of The Miracle piano that worked with the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

Carrying on The Miracle’s tradition of educational digital pianos with names that include an article, The ONE digital keyboards can connect directly to an iPad or Android tablet. The pianos feature light-up keys that have been popular on low-end learning pianos for years. However, when paired with a tablet, apps — such as the one the company is creating — can do a more engaging job of teaching piano.. The ONE has been sold in other countries for some time so the campaign really marks more of its entrance into North America than a whole new concept.

Kids/Babies Maker/Development

Fun with Circuits promises a storybook beginning for engineers in training

Kids are drawn naturally to technology, but oftentimes understand little of how those pixels light up. One way to change that is by stirring the first steps to understanding electronics into a familiar learning took for young ones: the storybook

The Fun With Circuits storybook and basic block-like interactive electronics kit that introduces children to electrical circuit concepts that are fundamental to STEM education. By using storytelling complemented by inviting illustrations, children more easily understand the electrical concepts that underly all types of technology through meaningful context. Kids have to use the colorful circuit components to solve simple puzzles to advance the story. .The developers recommend the product for kids aged 6 through 10 and seek $35,000 by May 9. For $75, one can be shipped by December.

We’ve seen a number of kids’ introductions to electronics and robotics lately. Similar products to Fun With Circuits include the Codie, but there’s something unique about pairing the learning experience with a traditional book that reinforces the idea of being hands-on.


GeoBunnies cuddle with kids, teach them math at the same time

Math is important for little kids to learn, but not always the most interesting topic. Kids need to be engaged in sneaky ways in order for them to learn important facts.

GeoBunnies makes it fun for children to learn some important math basics. These plush toys are made from velboa fabric and look like bunny rabbits, but come in three different shapes. There’s a pink hexagon, a blue pentagon, and a green triangle. Each has a formula embroidered into its back for how to find the area of that specific shape.

It’s a little unclear which age group these toys are made for. On the one hand, the toys are cute and definitely more for a younger set. On the other, the formulas they provide are a bit more complicated and maybe more appropriate for middle school-aged kids. Still, the intention is noble in trying to get kids to learn math the “fun” way. For one of their own, backers must donate $16 for delivery in October 2015. GeoBunnies is hoping to raise $9,900 in funding on Kickstarter.

Kids/Babies Tablet Accessories

Pick up on colorful cues with Mozbii interactive stylus

The Premise. Sometimes our connected devices act as everything from babysitters to educational teachers when our children use them. The long-lasting impact of early life in front of a screen is still unknown, but for now it seems the pros safely outweigh the cons.

The Product. Mozbii is a color-selecting stylus designed with children in mind. Shaped like a lollipop and easy to hold, the stylus is crafted partially out of medical grade silica-gel and has a flexible neck. It was created to give children a new way to interact with their surroundings while they play with their tablets. Simply press Mozbii to any object in your vicinity to duplicate its color, wait for an LED light to indicate the color has been picked up, and draw with that color on several compatible apps on your tablet. There are minimal buttons, the charger port is magnetic for easier time plugging in, and the battery can last up to 10 days between charges. With a 16-bit color sensor it can recognize more than 65,000 different colors in the spectrum.

The Pitch. The original campaign video is bright and engaging, and shows how children can easily use Mozbii to “collect” and learn about different colors in their environment. The newer video featured is more of a simple demonstration by an adult who chooses colors from many objects on a table, and even includes his tee shirt and hair to paint a picture on the coloring book app. Other tidbits from the campaign page include a sneak peek at limited edition colors, product development timelines, and details to be seen in later software versions. The project is looking to fund their goal of $30,000 in 30 days.

The Perks.  Early birds who pledge $64 will receive one of the first Mozbii styluses in orange or pink. For a pledge of $15 more, you can select from one of six Mozbii colors and will even get a carrying case. Become a VIP with a pledge of $10,000 or more, which will secure you six Mozbiis, six carrying cases, a day with UFRO founder in Taipei (travel /accommodations not included), and an exclusive factory tour. You will also be one of the first to access the developer’s kit.

The Potential. The product concept is certainly unique and refreshing and has a lot of potential among parents who see value in tablets as educational tools. This technology allows children to be more aware of their environments while also incorporating the tablets that they use every day. With that said, there is much more potential for Mozbii to become a teaching tool for tots still learning about colors than what is being initially presented. The product may see more success in later versions, where the emphasis is a better hybrid of learning and fun.

Cycling Kids/Babies

Dreisch Leaning Trike preps little ones for a two-wheeled ride

Dreisch Leaning TrikeTricycles are a great way for children to enjoy cycling safely, but don’t always prepare kids for a real bike. The Dreisch Leaning Trike mimics an actual bike with the same kind of necessary leaning for turns, but still has three wheels. With this trike, young ones can ride safe while also developing the necessary skills to learn the fundamentals of bicycle riding. While not completely necessary, the Dreisch Leaning Trike has a noble aim and is a great tool for children, much like the Jyrobike. One Dreisch Trike costs $299 on Kickstarter with estimated delivery in September 2014. This leaning trike hopes to raise $10,000 in two months.

Cycling Kids/Babies Safety

Jyrobike swaps in gyroscopes for training wheels in helping bike beginners

The Premise. Young children face fear, injury and anxiety when attempting to learn how to ride a bike. For some, it’s natural and for others it can take a long time. Children with disabilities also struggle with the delicate movement and balance needed to learn to ride a bicycle.

The Product. The Jyrobike takes the uncertainty out of elementary bicycle riding. Coming in two different sizes, the front wheel of the bike use stabilizer technology so that the bike will not tip over, much like Weebles. The wheels have three settings. On the highest setting, the bike is its most stable and then becomes less stable with the other two settings so that when the child feels comfortable, he or she can ride on their own without assistance. The wheel charges with a microUSB and also has a speaker that provides fun sounds during the ride. A wireless remote allows parents to adjust settings while the child rides so that they’ll learn to balance on their own.

The Pitch. Jyrobike’s lengthy campaign video shows the bike in action with small and handicapped children and even shows the bike riding upright on its own to display its stability. The creators talk about the physics of bike, explaining how it works and go through the different features of their reinvented wheel. Jyrobike is striving for a $100,000 goal in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the 12” wheel and wireless controller so that they can turn their own bikes into a Jyrobike for $129 or, later, just the wheel for the same price. The 16” wheel and controller go for $149 early or regularly at the same price for just the wheel. For $249, early backers get the 12” bike and wireless controller or, when the early prices run out, just the bike for the same price. Similarly, the 16” bike and controller cost $299 early or the same price for just the bike later. Reward tiers go all the way up to $5,000 with delivery set for January 2015.

The Potential. Plenty of children have learned to ride their bikes without this product. However, the thought of avoiding fear and injury is certainly appealing to both children and parents. The coolest thing about this product is perhaps its potential to help older children with disabilities. It provides the bridge needed to get over the daunting beginning phases of learning in order to really begin to enjoy cycling. Jyrobike’s intentions are noble and it definitely has a place on the market for safety-obsessed parents and clumsy children alike.

Kids/Babies Music

The World’s First Kids Guitar is sized to let your chip off the old block rock

Kids GuitarThe World’s First Kids Guitar offers a six-strong guitar that’s specifically designed for kids. With a child’s size and accident proneness in mind, the right-sized instrument is designed to be lightweight with fragile parts better protected than they are on regular guitars. Different reward tiers offer a variety of perks including studio session time and the like, but the most basic reward tier that includes the guitar goes for $250; the project creator justifies the price by moting that the guitar uses premium components and materials. The current estimated availability is July 2014. The World’s First Kids Guitar’s creators are looking to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter in their 25-day campaign.