Startup that virtually connects grandparents and grandchildren - Start Up Gazzete
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Startup that virtually connects grandparents and grandchildren


¿What is Kinoo?

It is an augmented video chat platform that allows grandparents and grandchildren to play together, collaborate on projects, and interact through their iPads and iPhones. Android will be supported in 2022. Founded by Jim Marggraff, creator of the LeapPad learning system, Kinoo applies many of the same techniques to make learning interactive and fun.

Grandparents and grandchildren interact on Kinoo using their fingers. Starting in September, they will also be able to use the Kinoo Connector wand.

“The Kinoo connector can become a whisk to stir the dough while making cookies with Grandma or become a saw to build a birdhouse with Grandpa,” says Marggraff.

Why it was created: Marggraff and his wife noted that it can be challenging for grandparents to connect with their grandchildren through technology, such as video chats.

How aging could change: “Isolation and loneliness are detrimental to health and longevity,” says Marggraff. “We help families thrive through the virtual bonds they build.”

Availability and Cost: Kinoo will be available this fall, although a price has yet to be set. The product can be reserved from August.

This video system is easy to use.

The platform includes two characters, Kodii and Kidoo, who come to life during video chats between family members and make communication more fun. This is called a technology-backed intergenerational connection.

Kinoo was the winner of the Better Aging Through Technology submission contest, sponsored by AARP Innovation Labs and the Innovation Collective, which helps launch innovative companies. During the competition, which took place on July 1, seven startups explained how their products can help improve people’s quality of life as they age.

“For a long time, we have added years to life, but not life to years,” says Nick Smoot, founder and CEO of the Innovation Collective. “Recently, society has produced tools and technology that allow us to create products that make aging a better experience.”

A wide range of innovative products


The finalists created a wide range of products. Some were inspired by their own experiences with care and loss of mobility. Innovations included a high-tech walker, a device that helps rehabilitate the knees, and a digital platform that connects caregivers with local resources and senior housing.

During the Shark Tank type competition, judges with experience in startups, venture capital and aging asked the founders questions about their products, competition, development plans and growth prospects.

People’s Choice winner focuses on voice technology
Following the presentations, the audience presented the People’s Choice award to a startup called Voice Activated Living, which allows seniors to communicate with family and friends using their voice instead of a smartphone or tablet. The company uses Amazon Echo Show devices to exchange audio and video messages, photos, and other content with loved ones. Family and friends can chat through their smartphones or tablets.

CEO Jeff Wasson was inspired to create the product after his father broke his hip and arm and was unable to use his smartphone. Wasson’s father was unable to participate in the family group chat.

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“The conversation was being lost,” Wasson says. “We hope that allowing older adults to stay connected and engaged through the power of the voice will lead to greater happiness and joy.”

The next competition

In the fall, Kinoo will have the opportunity to participate in the AARP Innovation Labs Grand Pitch Finale and receive up to $ 25,000 in consulting services. “AARP Innovation Labs is focused on discovering the best and brightest startups that address society’s most pressing issues as we age,” says Sheila Collins of AARP Innovation Labs.

Marggraff will be invited to speak at the Innovation Collective’s Think Big Festival in January 2022. The event will take place in Brooksville, Florida, where the Innovation Collective helps establish startups focused on aging and longevity.

The July competition was open to startups that have less than $ 500,000 in annual revenue and received less than $ 10 million in investments. Here are the companies, the inspiration for their creations, and how they hope to transform the way people age.

How aging could change: “We hope that allowing older adults to stay connected and engaged through the power of the voice will lead to greater happiness and joy,” says Wasson. “Our hope is that we can contribute to maintaining people’s mental health. That improves quality of life and satisfaction as we age. ”

Availability and Cost: The service, which became available in May, costs $ 9.99 a month and includes an unlimited number of family and friends. The primary user must have the Amazon Echo Show, which costs around $ 250, but other users can communicate via their smartphones or tablets.

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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