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Moff wristband uses gestures, sound effects to make any object a toy

editors-choiceThe Premise. When it comes to a child’s imagination, any number of common household items can become tools for adventure or props to act out any number of fantasies. For centuries, the imagination has been enough to entertain, but what if there were real-world stimulus to add to the excitement of play?

The Product. The Moff band is a wearable snap bracelet that children can put on when they play make-believe. By syncing up with the Moff app on a tablet or smartphone, different modes can be chosen to simulate specified wrist movements into real-life sound effects for laser guns, sword fights, air guitar, or sports equipment. With Bluetooth support, acceleration and gyro sensors, and powered by a watch battery, the Moff is easy to put on and begin playing with immediately. For the time being, Moff only works with the five most recent generations of iOS devices, but Android compatibility is in the works.

The Pitch.  Moff CEO Akinori Takahagi introduces the Moff in a gentle, playful video that combines hand-drawn animation to represent the imagination and live play to demonstrate what the Moff is capable of. The entire presentation of all Moff’s campaign, from videos to pictures and even the app itself, is generally friendly and easy for children to understand and use as well. Moff is looking for $20,000 to get Bluetooth certification, finish tooling and bulk order the device’s internal components.

The Perks. A $45 pledge is required to get a Moff band for any child or child at heart. All products are expected to ship in July 2014.

The Potential. The Moff band is something that children should be very excited about, helping them bring their imagination into the real world. Having to be tethered to an app on a mobile device hampers the usability somewhat, as children will probably either still want to have a phone nearby to change settings or will be continually pestering parents to change the settings repeatedly. The novelty of these sound effects will be something that enraptures younger users, while those already attending grade school might look elsewhere for something more substantial. Still, children will love the idea of enhancing their play without having to break the action for sound effects.

Michael Radon is a full-time writer who resides in New Mexico and is currently working as Editor-in-Chief on an upcoming magazine about retro video games.