Flash the Firefly Interactive Storybook and Light Set

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Consumer Products
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The Flash the Firefly Interactive Storybook and Light Set merges modern technology and traditional storybooks to enhance a child’s bedtime ritual. Current interactive books rely on screens, such as iPads, to make a child’s reading experience more exciting and educational. However, this system has its drawbacks. According to the National Sleep Foundation screen time before bed decreases the quality of sleep for children. The Flash the Firefly kit, on the other hand, uses simple RFID and Bluetooth technology to bring the story off the page and into a child’s reading environment, all without the use of screens.

The child simply places the five firefly lights around his or her room by either hanging them by antennae or placing them on flat surfaces. Once the child is in bed, the parent/guardian attaches the booklight to the storybook and begins reading to the child. As the pages turn, the firefly lights blink according to the characters’ actions in the story. For example, when the user reads that Flash (the main character) blinked his light quickly, a single firefly light will rapidly blink. Later, when the user reads that three fireflies blinked their lights, three of the firefly lights in the room will begin to flash. The lights respond to the story throughout the book, and when the story is finished, the lights sync with one another to recreate firefly light patterns found in nature. This relaxing light show is a soothing transition between the end of the story and the time the child falls asleep. (Explanation of how this product works included with images.)

This product has numerous benefits including reduced screen time before bed, a higher interest in reading, and a bonding experience for parent and child. Market potential is exponential. The Flash series can easily be expanded to include more stories, resulting in a constant source of income. The NFC sensor can be used with any book since the coding of the RFID stickers is unique to each story. Simply clipping the booklight in place and turning the pages will result in the firefly lights’ response.

In terms of manufacturing, the lights and booklight can all be injection molded. The book requires basic printing RFID sticker attachment on each page. Overall, I estimate the factory costs to reach about $20.99 per unit (5 firefly lights, 1 booklight, 1 storybook). However, I like to think the cost of the parts and technology will decrease in the coming years as advancements are made. The estimated retail price is $79.99, and I predict the interactive storybook could be sold online and at retailers like Barnes&Noble and Toys R Us.

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Jeanlouise Hornberger
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Profession:
    Engineer/Designer
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
    never
  • Jeanlouise belongs to these online communities:
    Behance; Linkedin
  • Jeanlouise is inspired by:
    Simply put: people. My designs are driven by the people in my life and their experiences with the world around them. This particular design was inspired by Iris, a four-year-old girl that I babysit. She loves watching the fireflies and reading right before bed, and that sparked the idea of creating an environment that would allow her to do both.
  • Software used for this entry:
    RFID and Bluetooth
  • Patent status:
    none