Reported by Reyne Rice, Trend Expert/Trend Hunter/Trend Analyst, CEO/ToyTrends, New York City, USA
First posted on the YourToyCom.com blog forum and community website serving the toys, games and childrens’ technology industries, on behalf of the Spielwarenmesse. Spielwarenmesse is the leading and largest International ToyFair in the world, held annually in Nuremberg, Germany in early February.
Digital innovators for childrens’ interactive technology products were honored and recognized for their latest creations at International CES 2014, with the announcement of the Kids At Play Innovator (KAPI) Awards. These award-winning manufacturers / developers were selected from a field of over 800 apps, toys, video games, and other products that were launched in 2013, and specifically targeted to kids, aged 0 to 14 years. CES 2014 is the annual technology conference where the biggest players in technology reveal their most important launches to kick off the new year. The KAPI Award winners were officially announced and celebrated at a black tie evening event at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
The most promising new achievements and key innovators in children’s technology are awarded this coveted top prize. As one of the jurors for this award competition, it is always very challenging (and rewarding) to be a part of the lively debate which evolves around what is truly ground-breaking in this segment of the children’s technology sector. These products influence, guide, teach and engage our youngest consumers of technology, and are found both in physical form and on the screens of various devices.
The winners were announced by Robin Raskin, founder of Living in Digital Times, a key innovator, journalist and tech guru, a Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) board member and contributor to the CES annual conferences and show floor exhibits. Warren Buckleitner, Ph. D, the Editor of the Children’s Technology Review and a columnist for the New York Times on children’s technology, was the other distinguished announcer of the event.
Narrowed down from an extensive list of over 800 official entries, the final top 8 awards were chosen by a juror team of 14 top industry innovators comprised of app and virtual world developers , tech and trend specialists, veteran tech reporters and entrepreneurs, hardware and software creators, educators , and industry analysts.
The playing field was comprised of new children’s technology introduced in 2013 from the extensive categories of apps, hybrid gaming introductions, hardware and software achievements, toys and video games, tablets, publishing, educational tech, and other pioneers in this fast-paced children’s technology industry.
The winners of the 2014 KAPI Awards are:
- Best Younger Children’s App: Storybots by JibJab Media: These storytelling digital ebooks delight children with the incorporation of personalized photos and engaging and relevant interactive stories. This animated series of apps combine both humor and education in an entertaining format.
- Best Older Children’s App: The Human Body by Tinybop: This immersive app experience provides an educational exploration of the human anatomy. Everything from the bones and brain to the cells and veins is part of this interactive playscape app. Children are encouraged to poke and examine the internal skeletal, nervous, muscular, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems, in a fun and entertaining, yet educational format.
- Best Tech-Leveraged Toy: Furby Boom By Hasbro Interactive: Physical play with the classic Furby is enhanced by the use of augmented reality apps and a second play experience on digital devices, providing added value to the physical Furby Boom product with immersive digital game play.
- Best Video Game Software: Disney Infinity by Disney Interactive: The rich storytelling world of Disney and Pixar animated films is brought to life with physical action figures that transport into the video game world. Kids of all ages can play in the original character worlds or in a ToyBox digital mode which encourages the children to become the storytellers, mixing and matching their favorite characters in a responsive and fun video game world, where they are the creators of new adventures.
- Best Educational-Technology: Hopscotch by Hopscotch Technologies: This new iPad and ios app empowers future programmers with easy drag and drop visual programming modules. Kids can easily create animations and watch as their work is translated into fun moving scenes and stories on touchscreen tablets.
- Innovation Award: Neos, PlayWorld Systems: These reactive new age playground systems encourage kids to play outdoors with the inspirational use of lights, scoreboards, and electronic interactions, as a step into the future of Fit 4 Life play experiences. These large community playspaces support large motor skill play between teams, or individuals.
- Pioneer and Lifetime Achievement Award: David Kleeman: Currently at the PlayCollective, David is a dedicated champion of quality for the content that ends up on a child’s screen. With 25 years of experience in the children’s technology fields, he is constantly searching for, and recognizing the best interactive products for children. He is a senior fellow of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, past President of the American Center for Children’s Media, Reviewer for the annual Prix Jeunesse, and a passionate evangelist for children’s publishing. In 2013, David Kleeman was a guest speaker at the Spielwarenmesse Toy Business Forum.
- Pioneering Team: Touch Press: The team that has created this digital suite of masterpiece apps are recognized as a creative force in the world of app development. Their apps provide an immersive 3D experience with lush graphics, visually stunning imagery and a true surround viewing option. Their first app, The Elements, was selected by Steve Jobs to illustrate the power of the original iPad in 2010. In 2013, their newest app experience, Disney Animated, transforms Disney classic storytelling, music, characters and animated elements into new dimensions.
At the end of this month, the highly respected and coveted ToyAwards 2014 for the Spielwarenmesse will also be awarded to the most promising new toy and game product introductions for 2014. They will be revealed at the Annual Opening Night Ceremony held in Nuremberg, Germany on January 28th, 2014 at 6:30PM, in the Nuremberg Exhibition Center. NOTE: Entrance tickets are required. You can view the nominees for these coveted awards, in advance, after January 25th, 2014, on the www.Spielwarenmesse.de website.