Last week we visited Berlin to attend a Bluetooth SIG seminar about the recently released Bluetooth Developer Studio. After the training, we had time to meet Berlin-based Vai Kai startup and their wooden toy Avakai. Their office is placed in Kreuzberg (Berlin) in an old industrial building shared with other creative designers and companies (e.g. etsy, lasern.)

Vai Kai buildig

Vai Kai are hyper-busy right now working on their kickstarter campaign so we are really thankful that they made some time for us :-)

So what exactly is Avakai? It is a sleekly designed wooden figurine that augments traditional games like hide and seek thanks to its integrated technology. The possibilities are endless and up to the imagination of children. We are sure that new and unexpected games will pop up when kids start playing with it.

Hidden inside Avakai there is a Bluetooh Low Energy module with some sensors (movement, touch) and actuators (LEDs, speaker) that enables different types of interaction while playing at home, outdoors and even across the world. One Avakai can be used on its own, but real fun starts when you use it together with another Avakai companion or a mobile phone.

Kids can play hide and seek with Avakai and use its beeping speaker as a hint of proximity. They can also hide little surprises and written messages inside its small pocket.

It can also be used to share feelings or emotions remotely. The user experience reminded us of the lovely Good Night Lamp. If you hold your Avakai with your hands for a while, a vibrating "hug" will be sent to its remote companion. Children can also create their own "tapping" language,

We recommend you to read Vai Kai's blog where Matas and Justyna share the work they have been doing so far and how much they have learnt from real kids playing with Avakai prototypes.

We are proud backers of Vai Kai at kickstarter. Join us and make Avakai a reality!

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