The first icon-based watch that empowers the kids by teaching them good habits and the concept of time. It fosters independence, responsibility & self-esteem
About this project
Octopus by Joy, the training wheels for good habits!
Octopus is the first icon-based watch that teaches kids good habits and the concept of time.
Octopus is for children aged 3 to 8 years old. Unlike other products on the market, it’s wearable, visual and it grows with your kids.
It’s a watch built for children who don’t yet understand time
Studies have shown that children under 8 years old don’t understand the concept of time, let alone remember what to do when a certain time rolls around. We have designed the first watch that helps them understand how parents expect them to use their time. We believe this will help children form good habits and help them to take responsibility for their actions.
Every child dreams to be a grown-up! Imagine how proud your young children would be with a watch on their arms just like you. Imagine how they would feel when the watch remind them to prepare their bag for the swimming lesson or to feed the fish before leaving: “I’m useful, I have a role to play in the family, I don’t need my parents, I am autonomous!”
It works in 3 modes adapted to different stages of childhood development. Octopus can grow with your child!
The first mode helps kids understand time by association. It displays a big icon that is associated with a task to accomplish, according to a schedule set by the parent.
The second and the third modes teaches kids to read digital and analog clock.
It’s a scheduler for parents who are tired of power struggles
Parents want to promote self-discipline in children because they know it’s the foundation for later success in life. When getting ready for school devolves into one power struggle after another, everyone loses. Your child wants to have ownership over the process. Parents just want to get out the door by 8:15.
Parents program visual reminders on their smartphone that will pop up on the watch at certain times (with a discreet vibration).
It’s an assistant
Octopus is an assistant for your child, but the system as a whole helps the parents too.
It helps you teach good habits to your kids without overwhelming them; It’s an educational tool. “Be consistent, coherent, predictable and clear about your expectations, teach few tasks at a time”.
It becomes a partner in parenting by helping to enact proven methodology. For example, kids learn better when given specific instructions. Octopus can help to break down tasks and go step by step. Example: Put the blocks in their container, then Tidy up the robots in their box, then come to Dinner, etc.”.
It grows with your kids
Everything is setup via an app, so Octopus can evolve with your ever-changing needs. It provides templates for routines based on age and gender. You can adjust them or create new ones from scratch. It syncs up in real time via Bluetooth. Everything is stored physically on the memory of the watch, so the system can keep track of the progress. It grows up with the kids. Some features are unlocked based on the age, like new clock faces for instance.
… and it’s fun!
And of course, it’s fun for the kids. But we kept the level of distraction low. It’s a tool, not a toy! No video games, no messaging system…
There is an optional gamification feature built into the system. If it is turned on, your kid will be able to unlock virtual rewards such as special badges based on their progress.
The dashboard available on your smartphone is a great tool to track progress and provide positive reinforcement.
Octopus is mainly for kids aged 3 to 8 years old, but the sleek design is appealing even to older children (if they own a smartphone to set it up, they can use Octopus as a task manager).
Octopus can also help the kids with special needs (AD/HD, ASD, Diabetes, Down Syndrome, or executive functioning issues).
Children with special needs often require frequent prompting to complete tasks. Instead of getting in a shouting match, use Octopus as a tool for repeated prompting. Your child gets the prompts they need, parents retain their sanity, and the whole family is happier. Octopus can be used by parents in tandem with therapists, psychologists, and teachers to provide a reliable and comprehensive scheduling tool that is adept at maintaining consistency across settings.
Our mission is to reinvent how parents share time with their children: no more stress, no more power struggles, only precious moments spent focusing on what really matters: quality family moments.
The power of routines
50 years of psychological research have proven that having routines in place in the family reduces the level of stress, prevents conflicts and it helps the kids to be more organized, focused, independent, cooperative.
It makes it easier for them to assimilate good habits and it also teach them to be on schedule.
But to maintain routines it requires consistency and persistency.
Today’s fast-paced world presents many challenges because kids are exposed to a lot of distractions (TV, tablets, video games) and have more and more activities besides school. On the other hand, you, the parents, work a lot and even at home, it may be hard to disconnect from your job, your social life, etc. Consequently, spending quality time with your kids is harder, and it requires a lot of energy to teach them good habits.
Octopus is here to help you with that!
Even with more than 15 years of experience in the tech industry, building an electronic product is always a big challenge. Doing it from France or from the United-States is doable, but it takes more time, more resources and more money. We decided to apply to the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator HAX, which offers facilities in China and access to an incredible network of mentors and experts. We were selected from a large field of applicants!
HAX is in the heart of the “Silicon Valley for hardware” in Shenzhen, 40 minutes north of Hong-Kong.
One of the multiple upsides of being in Shenzhen, China, in a super equipped lab like the one of HAX is that we could produce several prototypes very fast. Making a hardware device is always a trade-off between user experience, technology and cost but we started with no limits. We didn’t want to be constrained. We wanted to explore all the possibilities that were making sense, and we wanted to test them fast.
We tested with a lot of parents and their kids. Then we realized that to reach out to more parents, we should bring schools on-board. And because we are citizen of the world, we decided to test on 3 continents!
During this testing phase, we discovered that our solution could tremendously help children born with disabilities like AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), Down Syndrome, A-type diabetes, executive function issues, etc. Having members of our families dealing with the daily challenges from some of these conditions, we were very deeply motivated to improve our product even more.
We also have created an important community on Facebook and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents for their feedback, comments and encouragements.
Watch the co-founder interview:
We received hundreds of encouragements and we can’t thank our community enough for this. It has really boosted us.
The watch comes with a charging cable. An optional charging station can be purchased, which transforms into a nightlight when the watch is attached to it!
You can choose the color of the watch among blue sky, pink candy, lemon green and dark grey.
More info here: octopus watch