Storyball - The Screen-Free Smart Console that keeps kids active

Created by Storyball

Storyball is a screen-free smart console that uses games, stories and challenges to get children playing, learning and moving their bodies.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Storyball voice recordings, packaging and NY Toy Fair
over 2 years ago – Thu, Mar 07, 2019 at 01:29:43 AM

Dear Storyball backers,

We have been extremely busy during the last month and would like to share with you some of the achievements and the most updated status of the different tasks.

Market feedback 

During last month, we have visited the New York Toy fair, one of the biggest toys conferences in the world. We have met with interesting potential distributors and got excellent feedback from them, got to know some industry leaders and met with some of the main players in the industry to learn about their journey to the market to try and learn as much as possible from others. As part of our meetings we had the honor of meeting again, Mr. Handstein Peter, CEO and Founder of ‘Hape Toys’ and are proud to say that he has agreed to be a member of our advisory board. This is a great milestone for us, to have one of the industry leaders support us and share his vast experience with us. 

NY Toy fair
NY Toy fair

In parallel, our CPO, Meir Biton participated in panels on the subject of Connected Play and Screen-less games and contributed to the discussions. Meir will also attend SXSW Gaming conference later this month on the subject of: "Connected Play: Gamifying the World Around Us". This panel will take place at SXSW, AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER, on MAR 15, 2019, you are all welcome to come and say hello.

Meir Biton (on the right) NY Toy-Fair
Meir Biton (on the right) NY Toy-Fair

During the show, we had the chance to introduce Storyball to more people and we are always so excited to see that people just love Storyball’s story and concept. The mini games, as social interactive games were extremely successful and we will keep developing these more and more towards the delivery.   

Quality labs 

This is probably the biggest time consuming, challenging process in the way to delivering Storyball to you. We are working together with our manufacturer to approve every piece and sub-assembly of the product with the quality lab. The FCC and Bluetooth modules tests, which are the longest and most challenging tests are really close to end and these are great news. 

Although we have not encountered any major issue, this process takes much longer than planned. We are doing baby steps but all in the right direction. 

Sound 

On the last update we shared with you that we are working with a sound expert to optimize the sound level quality. We are taking each and every file (character’s recording or background/atmosphere sounds) and treat it in such a way that the sound output will be best possible. In addition we keep creating the content for the games. In the last two months we have recorded Pepper the Bear and Sesame the Magical Unicorn final voices. See below pictures from the recordings and short videos. 

 Joel Covington, a.k.a. "Rebel Sun" (Rap singer) - Voice Actor for Pepper
Joel Covington, a.k.a. "Rebel Sun" (Rap singer) - Voice Actor for Pepper
Ayelet Agmon, (singer, teacher) - Voice actor for Sesame
Ayelet Agmon, (singer, teacher) - Voice actor for Sesame

Mobile app 

The Storyball mobile application is making great progress. The android platform is 90% ready to merge in the games.  The iOS version is a little bit behind but will catch up very soon. We are very excited to see all game ingredients come together and Storyball coming to life. We are happy to share with you some of the latest screen shots from the app.  

Storyball app screens
Storyball app screens

Packaging 

The final version of the packaging is done and we have great feedback on this from the people we met at the NY Toy Fair. Every small word is approved by regulation but the user experience is not something we dismiss and therefore we worked very hard to have Storyball both protected and delivered safely but also looking nice and prestigious in its box. See a small glance.  

Storyball Package
Storyball Package

So to conclude this update, we are doing everything possible to deliver Storyball to you asap. We will keep updating you in every bit and bite. 

We want to thank you again for your patience and support and tell you that we don’t take it for granted. 

Chen and the Storyball team

Going forward: Testing labs, sound and content
over 2 years ago – Sun, Feb 03, 2019 at 02:50:06 PM

Dear backers,

Hope you had great holidays and enjoyed the time off with your dear ones.
 We want to share with you the latest updates from Storyball: 

Quality labs 

As per our last update, the full products were finally submitted for quality tests in the lab we authorized to test our product. This process requires a lot of back and forth mainly because there are hundreds of tests and components which are being tested but also since the labs need to fully understand the function and use cases of the product. On top, some components need to be chemically tested to make sure they do not contain prohibited materials such as heavy metals and certain additives. These tests require 10’s of parts to be submitted and the tests take long days.  

These are the kind of reports we are starting to get: 

Small example of the tests done on Storyball
Small example of the tests done on Storyball

The product testing also includes the communication and Radio Frequency issues and these require special made samples to be prepared.   

In this long and not so easy process, we do not forget that this is done for the safety and health of the kids that will enjoy Storyball and is super important.  We are happy to say that up until now no big issues were found. 

Plastic parts, look and feel of the product 

During the process of moving from development to production we are constantly improving the smallest details in the product to make it better and better. Through the process we are building full products in our office and testing them both mechanically and electronically but also examining the look and feel. We can say now, that apart from a small improvement in the body of the product, which will provide better protection to the electronic circuit, we are happy with the plastic parts and we expect to see the last part modification by the 2nd week of February. The character, or what we call the “skin”, is another part of we are constantly improving. We are getting feedback on the material not being soft and flexible enough and we are considering a material replacement. We hope this will not delay the delivery more but we aspire for the best experience and therefore will not give up on the quality and feel.

Here we go!
Here we go!

Sound 

The quality of sound which comes out of Storyball is an important factor in the game. It is a delicate balance between the speaker, the size and weight of the ball and the sound file parameters and size. To this process we brought in a Sound Specialist that works with us and optimizes the sound file to perfectly fit all other parameters.  

Games and characters 

And finally, we want to share with you Pepper the Bear’s game plot as it is taking graphic shape along the development of stories and missions.
 The illustrated map shown below reflects the player's progress in the quest game and shows what part of the story they are playing. As you probably remember, the game-play is happening from the ball itself and the map below is only used to help navigate and control, should the player choose to do so. 

After escaping from the Bronx Zoo, Pepper travels the world, helping animals around the globe while playing great music and having lots of fun.
After escaping from the Bronx Zoo, Pepper travels the world, helping animals around the globe while playing great music and having lots of fun.

 To conclude 

As you understand from all the above, there are few matters left to attend before we can deliver you your very own Storyball. we are doing our best to speed things up, without compromising on quality. Stay tuned and keep warm. We will continue to update, and we hope to be able to ship out within a matter of few more weeks. We're very excited to be so close to that point! 

Thank you, dear backers, for reading through this update and being so patient and supportive. 

Chen and Storyball team 


Checkout a great Kickstarter of our good friends at ZBAM Design! 

Meet GekkoWave - a super-cool BlueTooth stereo speaker set, made by the awesome guys at ZBAM design. GekkoWave is lightweight and compact and has a great sound quality, plus you can hang it anywhere with its unique flexible tail.

Storyball’s progress and happy New Year wishes!
over 2 years ago – Tue, Jan 01, 2019 at 11:42:44 PM

Dear backers,  

First, we would like to wish all of you the best and happy new year!  

Some of you are probably spending more time with your families and friends and enjoying the most important things in life.  

We at Storyball are having the most intense times and we are enjoying every minute. Excited to move forward and make progress towards delivering Storyballs to you.  

So let’s look at the main tasks we are focused on:

Quality labs

Following our last update, we have sent our PCB’s (the electronic circuit) to the lab which certifies all components and assembly of the product. We have chosen to work with one of the top labs to make sure everything is safe, in high quality and compliant with the highest standards. We are in the process now with the PCB’s and soon the full product will go through the process. Tests include safety tests, mechanical tests, materials examination and many more. In parallel, we have defined the reasonable use cases of the product and are testing different scenarios in our offices. For example, we have dropped Storyball from a height of 3 meters/over 9 ft to simulate the ball fall/being thrown up to these heights. See below the video we have taken during this process.

The results are quite good and we are happy to see that our design really meets the requirements. We have encountered an issue with the power button being damaged in certain cases and we are fixing this issue now. There is still some way to go but production of your Storyball seems closer than ever.

Characters

We now have another character ready and it makes us very happy.

Sesame the Unicorn came to live this week with first samples coming out from the factory. The pictures below are fresh from this week and the actual samples are on the way to our office. Apart from the colors and feel of the material, we are also looking at the fit to the ball size, the quality of painting and more issues we are very keen about.

(Sesame Splendid Skin - coloring work in progress)
(Sesame Splendid Skin - coloring work in progress)

We are investing a lot of energies in each one of the characters and stories for an immersive experience with depth and lots of content and games. In every character, we invest weeks and even months of work - from designing the games, through software, recordings, user testings and software QA. Unfortunately, we are not able to launch all 8 characters in the same time. Since we do not want to hold the production and deliveries of Storyball any more than needed, we decided to send Storyball with the characters we have ready and send you backers, the rest of the characters in a few months when these are complete. The outcome of this is that some backers will not get at first, the characters they ordered (but they will get other compatible skins - in target age and level of complexity). Some backes will get fewer characters than they ordered. We are sorry for that but we promise to send the missing characters as soon as they are ready.

Example of Ayo’s gameplay, each number is a different level in the quest
Example of Ayo’s gameplay, each number is a different level in the quest

To conclude:

Overall, Storyball is looking good. Both the games (which we are keeping as a surprise to you…), the look and feel of the product, the assembly and mechanical parts all look very nice. We do have some challenges on the way and but production is not far.

We are hoping that our next update will show you balls from production and that on the next update we can tell you a definite date for the balls to leave our factory. We will not be shipping any balls until final OK from the quality lab is given.

So dear backers, please hang on there just a little bit longer before your rewards are sent to you.

We want to thank you again for your trust and the confidence you are giving us. We appreciate your patience and can assure you we are doing everything we can to expedite the process.

Happy New Year!  

Chen and the Storyball team

Storyball more production updates
almost 3 years ago – Wed, Dec 05, 2018 at 03:07:00 PM

Dear backers, parents, grandparents, family members, and friends,  

The feedback we received from you following our latest update honestly warmed our hearts as you were all so supportive. We don’t take it for granted!  

Since then we are making progress in all directions -  

Molds  

Molds are coming back from the 1st round of improvements and we have seen some injected parts. These look good but do need another round to make them very good :) The chassis, the part which holds all the electronics in the ball, is now being injected in 3 different materials and once these are assembled we will re-do the drop tests and select the most adequate material to work with. The on/off button, which is part of the chassis as well, still needs more work as right now, pressing the button does not provide the right feeling. 

Electronics

Once the design of the PCB is final, you usually prepare a limited series of PCB’s and connect them to all other elements such as the motor, battery and more. In this way, you can test the small quantities and make sure they work perfectly before preparing the full order. We have passed this stage successfully and now waiting for Quality labs to approve and confirm they are compliant with the highest standards.
PCB
PCB

In parallel, first balls are being tested to make sure the LEDs are seen through the plastic and more.

Games and content

This is so much fun! we are designing more and more games for you and we just love it! we use outsourcing, experienced game designers but we also create the content ourselves. We cannot tell you much right now as the games will only be available once you get Storyballs in your hands but we can tell you that we are testing these with children and the enthusiasm is exciting!

There are more and more tasks and issues we are dealing with on a daily basis. We are solving each and every challenge and enjoying every minute of it. We cannot say that everything is easy to do, but we definitely feel we are in the right way.

We want to thank you again for your support and warm words. We will update on a more accurate delivery date once all plastic parts are approved and assembly of the ball looks 100%. From the good progress we see now, we can share that it looks like we are going to ship around the end of January - beginning of February.

Have a happy Christmas  

Chen and the Storyball team

Storyball second production updates
almost 3 years ago – Wed, Nov 07, 2018 at 01:12:37 AM

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