In a world where technology is constantly pulling us indoors, Picoo has created a game console designed to get kids outdoors and active again. The system is a portable, screenless console that requires no access to Wi-Fi or mobile networks during playtime. This makes it perfect for outdoor use, as it eliminates the need for any connectivity. It is also Bluetooth enabled, so parents can use the accompanying app to control gameplay.
Picoo is comprised of two main parts: the console and the controller. The console attaches to a belt worn by the child, while the controller can be used either in hand or attached to a stick for further reach. Both are water-resistant, making them perfect for outdoor play in any weather condition.
Games on the console are designed for gross motor skills development, social and communication skill-building, creativity stimulation, and imaginative play. The style of gameplay helps to foster something that traditional videogames cannot: discovery. Because the kids are outside, they are exploring and discovering new aspects of their world. This exploration encourages and improves imagination, which is the key to personal development.
Being outside and moving around is also great exercise, something that can be lacking in kids' routines. This has been even more evident in the past few years with things shut down in parts of the world. Exercise will help with physical development as well as building strength.
With over 25 games currently available (and more being developed all the time), Picoo has something for everyone.
Picoo is for kids aged three and up. It's a great way to get younger children active and engaged in outdoor play, helping them work on essential skills and have some fun along the way. By eliminating the screens, the game becomes more about playing rather than focusing on something external. This helps to foster social interactions that get lost in traditional video games.
Because of the wide range of games that come with the console, plus the additional games that are available, Picoo really can be enjoyed by everyone. While asking most adults to go outside and ply tag results will result in confusion and answers of no, this product can provide the perfect way to break down that barrier and get adults running around like children having fun outside.
Picoo is available now in a variety of options. The primary kit is the Starter Set, which includes 4 Picoo controllers, 5 games, 4 helper cards, and 2 USB-C charging cables. The included games are Lightning Bolt, Whack-a-mole, Zombierun, Hide-and-Seek, and Kaleidoscope. Many more games are available to extend the fun.
For educational and group settings, Picoo can be purchased in larger sets. Rather than 4 controllers, the educational set comes with 12 controllers, plus the accessories to make them work, including games and chargers.
All of these options are available now. To learn more about the product, the games that are available, and purchase one for yourself, you can go to their website.
Interview by Marlo Anderson of The Tech Ranch.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
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Next company is Picoo. Iris is in the studio. How're you doing Iris?
I am fine and you?
I'm doing great. I'm not hearing you right now. But there we go, Chris is right on top of it all the time. He's amazing.
I'm hearing you, sir.
All right, fantastic. So well, welcome.
So I'm excited to see what you have for us today. So tell me about this.
So this is Picoo. It's an interactive game system for children to go out and play.
Games like tag and hide and seek. The games we played as kids.
But kids these days are literally glued to their screens. And we use the attractive elements of interactive technology to get them out to play the old games, which you know, they're still fun. And they're so good for kids to go out and play.
Physical activity, but also to connect to other kids. Especially in times of COVID. Of course, where everybody is still so much cooped in.
Yes. Right right. So, all right. So let's pick on the game of tag, how would this work?
How would this work? I'm just going to switch them on. So usually, you would have some kids as well.
But we don't have them here.
I can be a kid.
Sure. You can have one.
Um, we have several games. So I'm going to show you the game Zombie Run, which I've found out as a big hit here because everybody compares it to the COVID game.
And Zombies are real.
Zombies are real.
That's right, of course.
So I'm going to scan the game with one of Picoo’s
All the Picoos nearby will automatically connect to that game.
I'm going to start the game by pressing the button. Now all Picoos become purple. In a moment that I press it, maybe didn't press it good enough.
There we go.
So, this one is not being very nice.
One of the biggest becomes green, which is a zombie.
So the rest wants to stay away from the zombie because you don't want to become a zombie.
But if I come close by, it will tag the other players as well.
And in a moment, you'll be infected as well. And then the zombies win the game. See, there you go.
It takes a bit of time. So you get, you know.
You have some time to run away.
Yes. Oh, no, I felt that to-
Yeah, you're feeling it as well. So it has a light, it has a vibration. So you feel. Get feedback, haptic feedback. And there's also sound, but you probably can't hear that right now.
So, how close like it's overplaying zombie?
For example, how close do does the zombie have to get to me before I turn green then?
So actually, that, we can set up dynamically.
Suppose, so we've set it up now for half a meter to a meter? To you know, To tag. But suppose we're playing and you're a very fast runner. And I'm very slow. At some point, we don't want to play anymore.
Because there is no challenge.
For either of us anymore.
And then we can set the game in an adaptive mode, where it will automatically detect that I'm a bit slower and it will make it easier for me to tag you.
And difficult for you to tag me.
So the range will be different for each of us.
So that's really where the technology comes in.
To help play.
Okay, so how many games do you have in your system? Right now?
I have six with me here or five.
No, six. We create. Every month, they're coming out new games.
We also have games. So, we have a set of games over a set of Picoos of four for home use, for you know, parents and kids. But we also create games for schools and after-school care programs. Then you have a kit of 12. And then you have special educational games as well.
I see. I see. So, when there's a new game that comes out, do you have to actually have the card? Or is that something that you can do? Okay,
Yeah, so actually, we use the cards because we know kids, if you go out to play, you want to play fast, right?
You don't want to connect to the internet or set up something difficult. So that's why we have the cards, you saw how easy it was.
That's pretty cool.
To start the game. That's what the cards are for. But we also have an app. So suppose you're in a school and you want to start a game on 12 Picoos at once, and you want to change some settings of the game because you can't do that here. Then there is an app for teachers to use that, to you know, set some parameters and start a game.
To update software.
Yeah, yeah. This is available now.
Actually, we're launching today in the US.
Well, here we go. And we're your first interview for the day.
Yes, today you are.
Well, okay, there we go. I'm feeling pretty honored about this.
So alright. So, where do we find these right now?
You find them in our own webshop.
And yeah, we are. They are made in the Netherlands in Europe.
And we ship them out from there.
And we're here at CES to find distributors, for example
Gotcha for the US. Okay.
Yeah. for the US.
Okay. Yes. And what do you anticipate these will run in the US?
So they are now at $249.
For a set of four
Set of four.
With five games included.
But you can add more games later on. And they start from $5 a piece.
For the games. Okay.
So games are fair, you know, low price.
So it's not a subscription type of thing, you just buy the game.
because you want to.
So, you're gonna offer a subscription.
You are. Okay.
But we don't want to let people in. So we don't want to ask people to have you know, like technology, and then not be able to play because Their subscription runs out.
But there will be an all-you-can-play subscription.
In a month or six.
Are they? Are they battery-run?
Yeah, They are.
A couple of double-As.
No. There is an actually.
Gotcha. So you can plug them into a USB.
look techy. USB-C.
Right into it, and you charge them up?
How long does it take to charge it usually?
To get full. Yeah.
Okay. And how long will they run then?
That totally depends on which games you play.
And we're also still continuously updating the software. So the battery life gets better.
Gotcha. As it gets smarter.
Yes, get smarter.
Okay. Very cool.
But for now, like three to four hours. And some people say it's not enough. But if I gave you this, and you have to play our game for four hours, you're completely wasted.
Sure. Sure. Sorry. Are you thinking along the lines of? I'm thinking about when you go out on like family camping
Outings and Things like that. This actually could almost be a little bit of a like a camp light, something that you can carry with you.
Yeah Yeah, Actually we are in the Netherlands, we already sell them for example to scouting. Yeah.
As well. So you, you do?
Yeah, it'd be a great way to keep track of all this all the scouts, for example.
Or what have you? So yeah, very cool. What kind of range? I mean, is it like the Bluetooth goes, what, 250 feet now? I think, is that about the range of these is?
Yeah, is how many meters? Is that?
Okay? Maybe 250 meters? Yeah.
So it runs on the same gigahertz as 2.4 gigahertz.
Yeah. So, and also they create their own network. So you're not -
You're not dependent on WiFi or GPS.
Anything because you want to play anywhere, anytime. And so suppose we are very far apart, but somebody is in the middle that will.
This will change over to it. Yeah. Yeah. Very cool. So how many games do you have right now? Do you think other than the five that come with it?
The five I have here are on the basic set, then I have a few more educational games. So for example, to practice math skills.
And we also I mean, are you familiar with the game Kahoot that you play on yours? It's like, multi quiz game?
I'm old. Remember?
You're not old.
So, yeah, I'm not familiar with Kahoot.
No. So it's a quiz kind of game But you played that with your phone. But we also have a quiz kind of game for the Picoos so teachers can create their own quiz and then play that in the classroom.
Yeah. But then in an active way, of course, so the kids can work with, you know, the stuff that they need to learn in school?
But they can also move at the same time.
Yeah. And we just released an eighth game could the Three Musketeers.
Yeah, there is new games coming out every month.
I was just gonna ask, you know, your. How many games do you have? Like, plan?
You're gonna be releasing.
We plan to at least release 30 this year.
Okay, So this is almost every other week. Do you have another game coming out?
Not every other week. But yeah, fairly fast after each other.
Okay. Okay. Yeah. Very very cool.
Because also I mean, we don't want to be a one-trick pony. Right?
We want to create games for different ages, age categories for different likes and preferences.
So some kids like running, but some kids like more Hide and Seek kind of games?
Or treasure hunts, guided games, so yeah.
Cool. Cool. All right. When do you charge them? Do they glow?
Yeah, they do. So they turn from when they're empty. You charge them they're red. And then they go. Orange, yellow-green.
So they could almost be a nightlight type of scenario If you wanted to.
Yeah, when you just put them in like this on the stand then people are like, Oh, this is a smart light.
I can see why people would think that.
Yeah, I can see that too.
Yeah Yeah, very cool. Iris has been great. Once again, tell us where we find out more information.
Oh, it's www.picoo.com which is PICOO.COM.
Very easy. To find these people. These are really really cool. I could see, I could see kids using these you know, and I'm a big kid. So you never know. So alright.
So actually, I mean, we always say it's targeted kids of course,
No adult is going to play tag anymore. I mean if I were to ask you to play tag you would say "Are you crazy?"
But if we give you these.
You're right. I mean, I like the technology of course.
So you know I might just do it just for that reason alone.
Yeah. All right. Iris, I appreciate it.
Go check these out, everybody. PICOO. Picoo. A brand new way to get your kids outside and join, you know, an old-fashioned game a tag with a new tech twist.
TPN CES 2022 coverage is executive produced by Michele Mendez. Technical Directors are Kurt Corless and Adam Barker. Associate producers are Nancy Ertz and Maurice McCoy. Interviews are edited by Jo Mini. Hosts are Marlo Anderson, Todd Cochrane, Scott Ertz, Christopher Jordan, Daniele Mendez, and Allante Sparks. Las Vegas studio provided by HC Productions. Remote studio provided by PLUGHITZ Productions. This has been Tech Podcasts Network Production, copyright 2022.