160: Moonlite, A Kickstarter Project That Turns Your Phone Into A Bedtime Story Projector
Natalie Rebot is a Google software engineer turned entrepreneur that has created a new device which can be used with your smartphone to upgrade traditional bedtime story telling. Moonlite is described as the first mini bedtime story projector reader that attaches to almost any mobile phone and uses its flash to project imagery onto any surface.
Moonlite was recently launched on Kickstarter and quickly smashed passed it’s $20,000 target. With a few weeks to go, the campaign has already reached over $120,000 and a clear indication that this combination of the new and old method of storytelling has caught parents imagination across the globe.
The idea grew organically from Rebot’s bedtime ritual with her 3-year-old daughter, Chloe. After using the flash on her smartphone to create shadowplay. It wasn’t long before she realized that she could take their routine to another level to create stories and scenes using her phone and innovative design.
The creative process learned from her time at Google enabled her to turn an idea into reality. Thankfully, getting up and running is as simple as popping in a story reel and opening the Moonlite app for the projector to bring stories to life. As a parent, it feels incredible reminiscent of View-Master from my childhood, while children seem to be captivated by the technology that brings stories to life on their bedroom walls.
Maybe, both parents and children will enjoy Moonlite for contrasting reasons. But it’s the uniting of different generations around the ancient art of storytelling that is possibly the biggest strength and the reason for its mass appeal. The story reels cover classic bedtime fairytales such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Ugly Duckling. There is also a selection of educational titles and even a custom name option to truly place your child at the heart of the story.
As the digital transformation continues to take hold, many are of the opinion that the humble hardback book can never be replaced. However, there is an argument they are completely missing the point.
Our love of reading and being transported to another world in a magical way is as strong as ever. The medium in which we consume knowledge and storytelling may evolve, but ultimately we are still sharing stories like our ancestors that were gathered around a campfire.
One of the biggest parenting blunders of the 21st century is both child and parent spending more time looking at screens than each other. It’s not the smartphone that is the villain, but it’s how we use it. By just turning the screen of distraction around to face away from us Moonlite has created a unique reading experience that enables them to enjoy an immersive experience together rather than separately.
Early investors of the Kickstarter campaign have 20 days left to grab a starter pack by making a $35 pledge with shipping expected to take place during April 2017. Actress Tori Spelling recently publically gave her seal of approval when she said: ”I know my kids will love this and I’m down for anything to make story time more fun for my little ones.”
I recently spoke to founder Natalie Rebot on my podcast about her startup journey, unexpected celebrity endorsements, and how the thinking differently ethos learned from her time at Google could have unwittingly played a part in the creation of Moonlite too.