The “wow” effect — that’s what everyone is waiting for when they take a new gadget into their hands. When holding onto a new potential “toy,” no matter their age, everyone wonders: “What can this thing do and how will it surprise me?”
The team at CINEMOOD, a startup that is pioneering a fun and portable projector for kids, has come up with a way to truly amaze customers. Adding a little pizazz to their product, the company has released a line of colorful silicon covers with NFC-tags that work a little magic when placed on the CINEMOOD Storyteller.
The way it works is very simple. You put a cartoon character-shaped silicon cover on the CINEMOOD Storyteller, close your eyes, recite a short spell and…voila! an entire season of the cartoon is available on the projector. Of course, the content does not manifest out of thin air, but is downloaded automatically via Wi-Fi with the NFC-tag. The process, however, really makes you believe in magic.
“Now we have big-eared Krosh from KikOriki, green fidget Om Nom from Om Nom Stories, Mango the monkey from HooplaKidz and a kitten from the Kit^n^Kate cartoon. A small spoiler: in the future there will be new characters and some of them won’t just unlock a season of a single cartoon, but an entire collection of themed ones. For example, Santa’s Deer CINEMOOD Cover will be the key to a dozen Christmas themed animated films,” says Daria Mingalieva, Chief Marketing Officer at CINEMOOD.
Mango the Monkey from HooplaKidz CINEMOOOD Cover
The Riddle Behind CINEMOOD Covers
What’s the difference between children and adults? One of the best parts of childhood is that unhindered belief in fairytales and magic. When a child puts a cover on her CINEMOOD, she experiences a little magic—a riddle, a mysterious trick that she wants to solve.
The cover is interactive in nature, and keeps kids engaged with CINEMOOD. It adds an extra dash of magic to the already whimsical CINEMOOD experience. Made from quality silicon material, the new covers are also pleasant to the touch and completely transform the look of the projector.
The Birth of CINEMOOD Covers
“It was in Hong Kong, a month after I met Mike (Mike Bukhovtsev, CINEMOOD CEO – editor’s note). We had been there for a business trip to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, which takes place there twice a year. And on our way from the hotel to the fair Misha suddenly asked: ‘How can we make our “cube” come alive?’ Initially we did not take monetization into account and only thought about how to entertain the user and to invent some distinctive stick,” – recalls Boris Kaganovich, CTO of CINEMOOD.
“You take a nice gadget, put a smart cover on it, and suddenly something changes. Bang! The interface changes, ‘the cube’ comes to life, the color changes, or the desktop wallpaper reminds you that you’ve put the cover on. By the end of our trip to Hong Kong, the guys had an idea of how to implement something like this, that’s when they came up with the idea of using NFC-tags.”
Daria Mingalieva, CINEMOOD Chief Marketing Officer and Boris Kaganovich, CTO (Technical)
Mike Bukhovtsev, CEO, Barsegh Saakyan, Accessories Manager and Nikolay Alexandrov, Logistics Director on the CINEMOOD production in China.
How NFC Technology Makes the Covers “Smart”
“NFC technology is mainly used for contactless payment. The NFC-tag is a small chip, a tiny controller that is connected to another chip—a memory chip, in fact—and a radio aerial, which allows it to interact with an NFC-reader that is installed in your electronic device,” says Barsegh Saakyan, accessories manager at CINEMOOD. “When you bring this chip close to the NFC-reader, it reads the mapped signal and determines what is recorded in the memory. Companies use a variety of materials to fix the construction: paper or film of different shape and thickness. We use a customized solution designed specially for CINEMOOD.”
CINEMOOD Covers – A Step Towards Internet of Things
According to developers, CINEMOOD Covers are in fact a totally new digital media on the market. That is why potential partners like this idea right away. Most of them eagerly agree to become our partners.
“When you create a 3D character model, several questions arise about the details of appearance: the legs have to be of a certain length and ears should be bent that way. Every copyright owner has his own requirements that should be met,” says Yaroslav Rassadin, CINEMOOD product designer. “For example, Om Nom has a front forelock, so it was necessary to replicate it in a way that is representative of the character, and it also had to be technically easy to create and sturdy. For the company’s partners, CINEMOOD Covers is a project that looks extraordinary and enables their content to stand out in the market.”
Potential buyers at innovation exhibitions often ask: “So, wait, what is it exactly?” That’s it, we’ve caught their interest. “The very concept doesn’t let you simply pass by,” states Alexander Sviridov, CINEMOOD business development director. “We understand that the future belongs to the Internet of things. In fact, we’re trying to create a product that will become a part of the so-called ‘smart home’.”
How Are CINEMOOD Covers Born?
Yaroslav Rassadin designs the costume-like covers for CINEMOOD, a long and interesting process to be sure. The most fascinating stage of the production, however, occurs in the factory.
First, silicon blank is placed in the mold, a press-form where silicon elements of the future cover are laid. The form is then placed in the oven.
Approximately after 15 minutes of curing, the covers are ready and are taken out from the mold. Next, the covers that have not yet become “smart” are cleaned from dirt, checked for defects, and unnecessary elements are cut off manually. After this process, the NFC-tags are placed in each of the covers.
As a result of all these efforts, we get a silicon accessory that decorates CINEMOOD and protects it from being damaged.
This is how the covers look when the customer gets them, all nice and ready to work a little magic.
CINEMOOD Covers Features
- open a new library and downloads it to the “cube”
- protect the wireless CINEMOOD mini-cinema from damage and scratches
- personalize the gadget
- One cover weighs 0,3 lbs
- 0,4 lbs with the package
- Initially, the NFC-tag was implanted to the silicon soon after the curing of the cover in the press-form. At that moment the temperature of the CINEMOOD cover is 240 degrees Celsius. That’s why CINEMOOD invented a form of tag protection, basically a special bit of heat-resistant material that is placed on the chip, to keep the tags from melting. This old process let the tags sink into the silicon. Finally the developers decided to change the technology, and now the tags are placed in cold silicon.