Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Tio Turns your Recycling into App-Controlled Toys

Tio are motorised building blocks that allow you to turn every day objects and materials into app-controlled toys.

Tio launched their Kickstarter Campaign on the 1st of March and we caught up with the inventors to learn more about Tio.

My kids love making, and I believe given the right tools and support from parents, kids are actually natural creators. Unfortunately for my husband, this means I keep a lot of junk (treasures) just in case we need it to make something one day.

The idea of Tio, combining craft with a tech world, my kids are so familiar with, is fantastic.

Tio kits include motorised building blocks with built-in LEDs, magnetic mounts, sticky tabs, colourful wheels, interchangeable accessories, stickers and a personalised storybook. An iOS / Andriod app communicates wirelessly with the blocks, allowing you to control and program your creations. (Coding is not required, but they say there's the capability of recording and repeating sequences through the app.)

We really like that Tio allows you to breathe new life into old favourites, like K'Nex and LEGO, and even supports new 3D printed inventions. The wireless element of Tio blocks will make play more natural for children. My kids much prefer connected toys that move freely, than being connected by a wire to a computer. It looks like the blocks are charged using micro USB and Tio says will provide an hour of continuous playtime.

The inventors of Tio, Peter, Ash and Mario, have a passion to inspire the next generation of inventors to play, learn and make. Their idea was born out of Peter's childhood dream to make the toys he built move with more than just the use of gravity.

We were delighted to chat to them about Tio.

What is the recommended age for TIO?

Tio can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Kids as young as 3 and adults as old as 86 have brought their imagination to life using Tio.

How do you differentiate TIO from other kids electronics kits? (There's so much being developed in this space currently)

Tio is the only fully wireless block to animate toys, gadgets, 3D prints, everyday objects and materials in minutes. It's modular, intuitive and adaptable. Children as young as three can play with Tio without the need for any screws, wires, knowledge of electronics nor engineering. Unlike other products, Tio can be used with everyday objects and materials, quickly and easily.

Are you planning to add a sound block?

(My kids love recording their voice and adding to their play)

We are currently developing sound features for the Tio app and exploring different future block features. As we receive more feedback and ideas from our community, we will be refining the technology inside Tio.

Shouldn't young kids be playing with sticks and mud, not technology?

Tio is designed to encourage exploratory and creative play. With Tio, you can animate your sticks and learn with technology. As Tio enhances traditional play and encourages kids to go beyond the screen, it reconnects them with tangible hands-on making where the child's imagination takes center stage.

Don't Miss: A Guide to Backing Crowdfunded Kid Tech Campaigns

Unfortunately we can't back every cool crowdfunding project, but I've decided to back Tio, as it suits the way we play and craft in our family. I'm sure my 5 and  7 year old will have hours of fun making their own toys.

Follow the Latest Kid Tech Crowdfunded Campaigns

Our Crowdfunded Kid Tech magazine on Flipboard keeps you up to date on new campaigns in between our regular roundups and features.

Image Credit: Tio Toys

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