There are two truisms about the iPhone, smart phones, and tablets. One, kids love them across all senses – touch, taste, sight, and sound. And two, everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area that works in high tech or games and has kids under the age of five, wants to fix this problem and create a kids app.
Unfortunately, most education and apps for kids suck. When kids are not mindlessly playing Angry Birds because that is the only game their mothers know exists, they are getting very little back education-wise from their time on smart phones and tablets.
Fingerprint’s management team is very experienced in this field. It’s founders, Nancy Macintyre and Brad Edelman, are from Leapfrog and PlayFirst, respectively.
What’s interesting is that the company has created a news feed (called Mom-Comm) where the kid’s progress (snapshot) is communicated to parents and parents can shout back with words of encouragement, creating an educational feedback loop within entertaining game apps. FingerPrint has already released a SDK where 3rd party apps, which they approve, can plug into in return for a revenue share (very clever). It's kind of a Facebook-like social graph for education and apps between parents and their kids.
Fingerprint has released a bunch of games: a game series called Big Kid Life (Firefighter, Veternarian, Fairy Princess), Play Maker, as well as a third party title (Do Re Mi 1-2-3).
The reason I am writing about them today is that (1) it's a good idea (2) they are in the midst of offering their games for free until they give away $1 million worth of games.
Of course, all game developers can change the price of their games at any time so the $1 million worth promotion is a bit of gimmick, but free is free.
And if you have a little kid grabbing for your iPhone now, and you have already bought them the Angry Birds game, doll, t-shirt, hoodie, and want them to learn a little, you may want to check these educational games out.