Forbes magazine reported yesterday the exciting news that Osmo, formerly knows as Tangible Play, has just been funded with $12 million to expand their cutting edge product. What we found even more impressive was that they were also able to successfully partner a deal to be sold in 284 Apple Stores! If you are not familiar with OSMO you should be; watch this video and get up to speed or skip it if you are already familiar and read on....
According to their website, OSMO describes their product as the "specially designed mirror that translates your real world actions into a digital environment. All you need to do is place it over the camera on the iPad."
The physical iPad add-on with educational games, announced Apple AAPL +1.46% as a retail partner with the product now available for purchase. This, along with critical acclaim and $12 million in funding, set the scene for Osmo to go mass market.
The Series A Round funding was led by investor Accel Partners with other investors including Upfront Ventures and K9 Ventures. As part of the investment, Accel Partners’ Rich Wong will join the company’s board of directors. Accel Partners has invested in other companies now household names, Supercell, Rovio, Playfish, and SwiftKey to name a few.
“Osmo’s technology makes childhood education more personal, creative and engaging. We believe that the future of education will rely on intuitive innovation that amplifies learning through interactive online-to-offline experiences – Osmo is at the forefront of this movement,” said Rich Wong, a partner at Accel Partners. “Osmo is a natural fit for parents and teachers because it adds a small but powerful layer of technology on top of a platform (the iPad) that children already know and love.”
From the Washington Post:
Late in 2015 the Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up envisions opening up the platform for third-party developers who want to build games for Osmo.
“It’s particularly hard for third parties to build an amazing experience if they don’t have great examples,” Sharma said. “To me what we’re building — the three games we’ve built and two more games we want to build — they’re going to serve as a great example of what’s possible with Osmo.”
For now, Osmo has worked to add a personal touch to the three games it offers. It has launched MyOsmo, in which users of its Words game can upload images of their choosing and associate them with related words. For example, a parent might upload photos of relatives and have children spell out “uncle,” “grandma,” etc.
This is just the beginning of a new era where apps and manipulatives will be paired in order to create a more hands-on and engaging learning experience. Please let us know if you have used this product and what your thoughts are from an educational standpoint!