With its first operating year and more than 10 acquisitions under its belt, Tel Aviv-based preschool VOD net Puff TV is rolling out a new interactive application that should give it an edge. The company has licensed a kid-oriented wireless keyboard from Comfy Ware, and is now in the process of creating companion games that complement its shows.
Armed with show bibles and guidelines from IP owners including PorchLight Entertainment (Jay Jay the Jet Plane), Puff TV is working in close consult with a child psychologist to produce interactive activities centering on images, shapes, sounds, words and colors that prompt kids through sorting, matching and singing activities. Users are encouraged to play games related to shows that match their age level, and each title has selections that focus on different developmental themes, such as visual recognition, language skills and social values.
Billed as the first such iVOD keyboard for ages one to five, the learning system’s technology is essentially a dedicated remote control that uses infrared signal requests to trigger and manipulate the right scene on a selected video stream. Puff TV’s VP of business development, Erez Lahav, says the channel has created almost 15 different games already, and the plan is to launch with 10 in Q2 2008 and refresh with one or two new ones each month.
As for the keyboard console, Lahav says it’s available through Puff TV’s 1-800 number shown on the screen and ships in two to three days. He estimates the cost will be about US$20 to US$30, but he’s working on a promotion to provide a free keyboard in return for a 12-month channel subscription.
Israel will be the kick-off market for the launch of the iVOD games, which will then roll out in countries where Puff TV’s VOD service is already available, including Canada, Russia and Belgium. Given that breaking into the exclusive American VOD market has been a non-starter so far, Lahav says he’s in talks with at least one broadcaster to offer the iVOD game and keyboard as a private-label service to use with its own brands.