Flycatcher is a young UK company that creates innovative tech toys for kids. It was founded in 2014 by Shay Chen, an Israeli developer who previously ran two successful technology businesses before focusing his attention on toys. As a father as well as an inventor, he saw how his own children seamlessly moved between digital and physical worlds, learning how to navigate their complicated 21st century world through play. “Technology was like a magnet for them,” says Chen. “But I wanted to make sure that they also played offline and learned the social skills that are often missing with screens.” Flycatcher aims to capture online and offline synergy by creating toys that engage kids in new and meaningful ways. All Flycatcher toys are app-connected. However, they incorporate physical play with the same kind of seamless energy that Chen admired in his children.
Flycatcher’s first toy, Painting Lulu, was a digital coloring book, melding paper pages and mobile devices. The smART sketcher® Projector raises the bar on integrated play. This app-enabled toy puts the fun of sketching, drawing, and writing into the hands of kids using photos from any mobile device, step-by-step drawing packs, and curriculum-based writing and spelling activities that bridge the gap between schoolwork, homework, and play.
“Our goal is to use emerging technologies to embrace STEAM learning, while nurturing creativity, fine motor skills, and basic story-telling,” says Chen. “All of our products–those existing as well as those in development–balance physical and digital activities, and encourage interaction between kids and adults.”