MakeAffinity – Making Toys For The New Digital Age
What happens when toy robots make sweet mechanical love to smartphone devices? You get something along the lines of Kleekbots, a website that lets owners of LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics kit view and control their robot with their iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, iPad and other mobile devices instantly.
Developed by Singapore-based toy company MakeAffinity, the site also allows Mindstorms owners to share control of their robots with friends through email. Using Kleekbots is easy – simply sign up for the service, download and run the application on your PC, and and connect the robot and a webcam (optional) to the PC. Mobile devices control and view the robot through a web app via the devices’ web browser.
“Our vision is a world where toys come with live web remote control, smart phone and smart device control, live video streaming, recording and posting,” shares Thomas Tan, co-founder of MakeAffinity. “These toys will be truly social and playable with friends on the web straight out of the box.”
To extend this idea further, MakeAffinity has also introduced ToyCloud, a business-to-business service to help toy makers create social toys. The service helps toy makers to increase the value of their toys by integrating them with Facebook, YouTube and mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android, iPod Touch and iPad in as little as 30 days.
Tan says that while toys have come a long way over the years, they are being left behind in the digital age. “We want to advance the notion of ‘playing together’ into the 21st century,” he adds.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.