GoNoodle is standard fare in classrooms across the country. The brand is known for fun and mindful videos that get kids moving.
Now they are branching out into movement-based games with a new app called GoNoodle Games.
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"We kind of think of ourselves as a good energy company," said CEO KC Estenson, who previously headed up CNN Digital.
Think YouTube videos, but professionally produced to get kids up and moving, and engineered to teach them about important concepts including mindfulness.
"We’re more connected than we’ve ever been, but we’re also more detached than we’ve ever been. Our mission has been to create a positive healthy relationship with technology early on and to give content for kids that will help them feel more relaxed and at ease" said Estenson.
GoNoodle Games, out now for iOS and coming soon to Android, requires kids to stand in front of their phone or tablet to play.
Then, using computer vision and machine learning technology, the camera converts their movements into game play.
"We use the camera in the device to track the movement but it doesn't get held in the software at all, it doesn’t get shared or distributed outside of the platform in any way shape or form," said Estenson about the privacy aspect of the app.
Kids have to duck, jump, dodge and more to score points and advance to the next level.
The games feature GoNoddle characters that are already familiar to kids like the dancing Flo-Yo or mad scientist Zapp Von Doubler.
There are 4 games at launch:
Flo Yo’s Bubble Pop - Help Flo Yo free the fishies and avoid the sharks by waving your hands and moving your body.
Om Petalhead’s Flower Power - Clear the weeds in Om’s garden by jumping and sweeping your arms, then chill out and do some yoga with Om…don’t forget to watch out for the bees!
Zapp Von Doubler’s Space Race - Jump into Zapp’s character, use your jetpack to steer through space, collecting stars and avoiding space junk.
Squatchy Berger’s Rock and Roll - Rock out with Squatchy Berger in this rhythm game with a movement twist. Follow along with your hands while Squatchy lights up the rocks to make music.GoNoodle
I tried out the games myself and with my kids. They are super simple to play and lots of fun. Watching your kids waving their arms or ducking side to side is a nice change from seeing them hunched over a screen on the couch.
The appeal is there and it’s easy to see why parents and kids will like this fresh twist on screen time, especially at a time when kids are home from school due to coronavirus closures.
"Screen Time becomes active time and we can utilize this as a way to get kids to play in a whole new format," concluded Estenson.
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