It might be a paradox to find Internet postings and blogs on tips for parents to get their kids off digital devices and back into real life, but it is proof that there is huge demand for "Writease" -- a non-computer based learning toy that enables a child to learn to write numerals and alphabets. Currently, there is nothing on the market that closely resembles this unique product, which is the brainchild of Rabina Mahmood, an Alibaba.com user and a contestant of CNBCs Pop-Up Startup.
This 37-year-old housewife from Edgware, London has been married for 19 years. She has 6 children, and they are all under the age of 10. Her idea for "Writease" came about in 2009 when her pre-school age kids were learning to read and write. Rabina wanted a learning toy that was educational, fun and interactive, but she failed to find anything on the market that was not based on a tablet or an app. So, she invented "Writease" in an effort to get her kids away from computer and mobile phone screens.
Rabina created her makeshift prototype with material purchased from the local market. It is a double-sided magnetic writing board set with alphabets and numerals that allows kids to learn by repeatedly tracing over the letters and figures as well as erasing their writing until they master their skills. Her kids loved and benefited from the product, and she has plans to take it to the market and help other children learn. She invested $1,000 to get a CAD drawing of her product and would like to proceed further, but life and her kids have got in the way.
Impressed with her product, her mentors advised her to focus on getting her company investment ready: registering trademarks, patents and preparing document on intellectual property. Rabina made improvements to the product design and found a manufacturer in China to produce a few prototypes. Also, she caught the attention of the catalog retailer Argos during a recent Toy Invention Workshop. Perhaps, she can hit a home run by signing a license agreement with Argos to let them manufacture "Writease" under their popular "Chad Valley" label as well as distribute the product through their retail network of online and physical stores.
Parents all over the world will surely welcome "Writease" as a useful tool for digital detox that can tame the tech monster and help their kids unplug.