2018 KAPi Winners

The 2018 KAPi Award winners are:

 

Best App (Younger Children)
Sago Mini World, Sago Mini
It took a small Canadian team of designers, many of them parents themselves, to create this safe, vibrant home for the very first tech users. The unique subscription model is commercial free, and packed with updated things to discover.

Best App (Older Children)
Messenger Kids, Facebook
Many have tried but few have succeeded to fulfill a family’s desire to let their young children have access to messaging. After copious research and careful attention to privacy and permission, Facebook’s powerful Messenger Kids will open a much-needed line of communication between children and parents. We applaud this type of leadership.

Best Peripheral
Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2, VTech
Our judges agreed: the Kidizoom 2017 smartwatch bests the competition in the kid’s wearable category. There’s no GPS for tracking, but the two cameras, color touch screen, motion/step counter and suite of games make this affordable peripheral an ideal first watch for any child. And it tells time.

Best Content Distribution
WOW in the World Podcast for Kids by Tinkercast on NPR
“Where does an astronaut poop?” NPR’s Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas have the answer to this, and many other important questions in this podcast specifically designed to delight kids (and their parents).

Best AR/VR Application
Merge Cube, Merge VR
VR and AR apps and toys were easy to find this year. Tools like Apple’s AR kit have created an endless stream of exciting new kids’ products. Merge VR rises to the top by giving children a concrete prop that they can hold in their hands. We’ve seen kids lining up to try it out.

Best Maker Product
Circuit Cubes, Tenka Labs
Simplistic fun that turns a consumer into a creator right out of the box. Unlike the other maker kits that were released this year, Circuit Cubes is designed to play well with other brands of toys, from stuffed animals to Tinker Toys to LEGOs.

Most Creative
Beasts of Balance, Sensible Object
Jurors loved this clever balancing act (literally) between physical, stackable building parts and AR. Warning — this game can get addicting.

Award for Innovation
Lenovo Star Wars Jedi Challenge, Lenovo
OK, let’s admit it. We all want to have our own lightsaber. Lenovo has created a combination headset, app, beacon and lightsaber that comes close to pulling you right into your own battle.

Best Physical/Digital Merger
LEGO Boost, LEGO
Build one of five variations of a robot (or concoct your own) with this LEGOs kit, program it using a simple block-oriented language, and then enjoy your play session with your new interactive creation. This clever leveraging of the LEGO brand offers kids a seamless way to code, build and play.

Best Thing that Flies
Aura Drone with Glove Controller, KD Group
We love it when a toy makes feel like you have magical powers. This drone comes with a glove that turns your hand into a motion controller. There are even haptic features so you can feel the power.

Emerging Pioneer
Vikas Gupta, Wonder Workshop
Vikas Gupta had a perfectly lovely life as the Head of Consumer Payments at Google, but his vision of creating playmate robots that would teach kids how to code was his passion. With Dot and Dash, a robotic duo, and the new Cue, that has emotional intelligence and personality, he’s taught countless kids about the joys of coding.

Honorable Mentions go to Elfkin for creating a personal robot that includes a voice-activated messaging system that’s safe for young children and Dynepic for iOkids, a woman, and veteran owned company, creating an aggregated safe entertainment environment for kids.