There’s no better feeling for a computer programmer or software engineer than when a new product launches with the potential to make a major impact with people. Fingerprint Digital may be a startup, but the founders of this company focused on educational games seem poised to have just such an effect on their core demographic. Their publishing platform is packed with mobile apps that are meant as ‘edutainment’, or basically games that also serve as learning tools for kids of all ages. And according to Fingerprint Digital’s latest press release, seven brand new apps are now available.
All of the mobile apps are completely free, so parents can be just as excited as their kids. And adding the seven new titles to the Fingerprint Digital platform brings the total number of available apps up to twenty-two. You can find games there for kids as old as eight and as young as three, and each one works on the entire range of iOS hardware. Nancy MacIntyre, Fingerprint Digital’s CEO, was thrilled to point out that kids have enjoyed the games in the collection for over forty million total minutes to date. And while Android and Windows users are currently on the outside looking in, the success of the platform on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch prove that these educational apps are making a real and lasting difference in the lives of children everywhere.
The platform is called Fingerprint Play, and it’s now just a year old. Fingerprint Play allows kids to log on and choose a game to play, but parents aren’t left out of the fun by any means. The ‘Mom Comm’ feature gives kids a way to boast of their gaming success with their biggest fans. Kids share their scores, and their parents can write a note of encouragement, post a cheerful emoticon or even leave a voice message. All of the above can even be shared in snapshot form, either through social networks or email servers. Think of it like a television network geared entirely towards kids, but with games instead of programs and full integration into the rest of a family’s digital life.
The new apps that can be found on Fingerprint Play are offshoots of several successful brands. Fans of the VeggieTales series will find four interactive books, aimed at helping kids under five-years-old on their way towards literacy. The four new books include “Larry’s Missing Music”, “The Goofy Gift”, “I Am That Hero!” and “Thanks for the Franks”. On top of those great books, another app launching this week is called Scribble My Story. It’s designed for the iPad, and gives kids the ability to fully write and design their own stories. They can be completely customized, and set up with illustrations as well. Parents interested in setting their kids on the path to financial responsibility should check out Green$treets, which is geared towards showing kids the real value of a dollar. Finally, check out PandaPanda, an interactive reading and sorting app focused on colors and shapes.
According to MacIntyre, the majority of families with younger children own a ton of technological devices. And the best parents are finding ways to make the time spent on those devices useful. Once Android versions of these Fingerprint Digital apps come out early next year, millions more families will be positively affected by these offerings. It will take quite a while to see if edutainment apps make a real difference in the educational path of our children, so there’s no need to keep tabs on the online MBA rankings for another decade or two. But anything that makes learning fun is sure to help. And the more choices out there the better.