Industry: IT software/consumer electronics hardware
Sector: 1) Consumer electronics and 2) Internet services
SIC Code: 35770000 COMPUTER PERIPHERAL EQUIPMENT, NEC
Country of Origin: United States |
Target Countries: United States
Target Areas: Worldwide
A new platform/product category for ‘youth electronics’ is being developed—this platform is called the ‘SMARTY Platform’. Children use their voices and speech to interact with SMARTY. The platform consists of a proprietary child-friendly device, connecting via the home Wi-Fi to the Internet. The Company’s Internet portal will handle: front-end connections to all the SMARTY units, automatic speech recognition, a wide range of applications, telephony and connection to third party content suppliers. Parents’ smartphones running a new app are a key part of the platform. Besides monitoring the activities of their children, parents can take on an active role in many areas such as home work drills, obtaining new content, and buying add-on accessories such as new skins for the SMARTY device. While there are other voice/speech platforms entering the market, SMARTY is optimized just for kids in the 5-9 year old age range.
SMARTY’s hardware requirements are very important. It is able to understand child users from up to 15 feet away requires considerable local processing power not available in competitive products. This “far field” functionality allows SMARTY to operate even when Wi-Fi connectivity is lost. But it is superior content that will spell ultimate success. The Company is using the talent that was responsible for the success of LeapFrog’s industry leading smart tablets. These experts at a PhD level will be leading our in-house content development and the selection of the best third parties for both entertainment and educational content.
The follow-on generations will see SMARTY able to project images and video, see its surroundings with a camera, and gain mobility on its own. SMARTY will also be able to connect to the Internet via cellular networks allowing it to be used anywhere. Except for mobility the above capabilities are already built-in to SMARTY’s processing board design.
The Company is based in Silicon Valley, California. The Company’s first hardware/software prototype is scheduled to “go live” by the end of 2016. The SMARTY platform requires a very wide range of technical and business skills that present a significant ‘barrier to entry’ for competitors
Engineering/R&D: The company is using world class hardware and software developers in three countries: US, Canada and India. The team have developed consumer electronic products that achieved production sales levels over 1 million. Specific talent is in acoustics, embedded software, speech recognition/voice software, electronic circuit design, mechanical engineering, industrial design, manufacturing engineering and consumer product packaging.
Marketing/Sales: Sales VP held similar title at LeapFrog and Mattel. Marketing personnel have been co-founders of digital game companies with successful exits. VP of Business Development created the US sales plan for the launch of Softbanks’ recently introduced retail store robot, Pepper.
The Company’s Leading Team
General Management: CEO is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur who co-founded two other companies and was the first CEO of a leading business software company. Two of the above three firms had successful exits. Our CEO has a BSEE from MIT and his MBA from Stanford.
Manufacturing/Operations: Company’s engineering team has consumer electronic product manufacturing engineering expertise during the past 20 years. Volume manufacturing will be outsourced to companies in mainland China where previous relationships have been established. Company is also setting up its own Shanghai-based subsidiary to manage this area.
Capital / Loan Requirements: USD $1.5 million
SMARTY’s US market consists of 30 million US kids in the 5-13 year old age range in homes with Wi-Fi networks. Historically, with disruptive technologies such as the ‘Voice/Speech Recognition’ user interface technology being used with SMARTY an annual adoption rate of 6% of the 30 million total market size is projected or 2 million units/year. The Company expects to reach 800,000 annual units of the SMARTY device by its 4th year of sales.
Company has been approached about the expansion to the Chinese and Japanese markets.
Selected Competitive Advantages
➢Superior educational and entertainment content;
➢Most accurate child speech recognition or SR (and understanding);
➢Privacy is protected by having device SR & encryption with any uploaded audio data;
➢Superior hardware device design in multiple areas: microphone functionality, listening range, battery system & unbreakable case;
➢Unique and proprietary database of responses to most commonly asked questions by kids;
➢Easy of changing the device’s appearance
➢Most compelling business model (e.g., 4 recurring revenue streams)
Products such as the Amazon Echo have shown excellent sales traction in the US—but are not competitive with SMARTY since the COMPANY’s platform has been designed just for kids. However, what shown be taken from the success of the Echo is that the 6 million annual unit sales rate now being achieved by the Echo matches the projected adoption rate for a “disruptive technology”!
(Note: the device hardware manufacturing will be done in China; but software deployment and logistics will be handled out of the US).
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