Phygital play

06 : 07 : 2015 Avakai : Vai Kai : Gen I

Berlin – Start-up company Vai Kai is set to release the Avakai, a collection of smart toy companions that aims to help Millennial parents control their children’s digital screen time.

  • Wooden dolls combine physical play with digital interactions through Bluetooth and a mobile app
  • Project is being funded through Kickstarter
Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin
Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin
Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin
Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin Avakai connected toy by Vai Kai, Berlin

Styled after traditional wooden toys, the Avakai dolls encourage kids to move away from digital screens and engage in tactile play.

Crafted using locally sourced wood, each Avakai contains technology that enables it to sense proximity, touch and movement, and react through sound, coloured lights and haptic feedback. The Avakai dolls can send messages and sense each other’s presence via a built-in Bluetooth connection.

Parents can connect a single Avakai doll to their mobile device, enabling them to send musical messages or hugs to their child. Parents can use this function for a number of scenarios: ‘Imagine you’re on your way to the kindergarden to pick up your child. Your phone is connected to the Avakai through our app. As you get closer, your child’s Avakai starts to react with a soft, pulsing light and gentle vibrations. Without seeing you, they’ll know you’re nearly there,’ say Vai Kai founders Matas Petrikas and Justyna Zubrycka.

The Big Picture: The youngest generation of consumers is increasingly using products that merge the physical and digital worlds. To learn more about this group’s behaviour, read our Generation I Tribes report.

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