Harnessing the power of play: Lumosity on getting into the kids app biz

With digital learning initiatives at the forefront this week, iKids Weekly chats with Sunita Mohanty, director of brain-training giant Lumosity's new kid-focused offering, LumiKids.
December 11, 2014

With more than 60 million members and subscribers from 180 countries, Lumosity is something of an expert in designing mobile experiences for adults. The US-based brain-training company was ready to expand into a key demo, and creating a kid-targeted offering seemed like a natural next step.

The launch of its LumiKids line is a timely move, as more content producers and tech companies continue to roll out digital learning initiatives. It also reflects a growing market demand—parents want more quality mobile experiences for their kids.

“Lumosity is targeted towards adults, but our company’s goal is to provide everyone with an experience that is beneficial,” says LumiKids director Sunita Mohanty. “We were really missing a key market. And we were hearing from our users that they would love something they could use with their kids.”

So Mohanty, along with a roster of child development, educational and neuroscience experts, put the wheels in motion for LumiKids. The result is a collection of unique apps for two to fives rooted in developmental science.

“There’s a very big difference between what Lumosity has built for adults and what we’re building for kids,” says Mohanty. “The core motivation of our adult users is self-improvement—the core motivation for kids is really around having fun. What we’ve built is focused on harnessing the power of play, because play-based experiences are so formative in providing opportunities to grow and learn.”

Its first offering, LumiKids Park, rolled out worldwide last week. While the first app is free, in the future Mohanty sees potential for a premium value proposition, with some free content and some made accessible via paid membership.

Completely intuitive, the app has no voiceover or text instructions. It also adapts to children’s skill levels, becoming more difficult as kids grasp how the game works.

Giving children a digital playspace to develop core skills (cognitive, motor, social-emotional), the app line is also intended to keep parents abreast of their kids’ development via email—something that was key for the company.

“We’ve built the app to be adaptive and to collect very granular information about a child’s activity that we can then share with parents,” explains Mohanty. “I think that’s a very unique value proposition that we’re excited to put out there.”

In terms of next steps, promoting LumiKids Park is at the forefront. As the app launched internationally, LumiKids will look to promote the app to its members across the globe, with more titles in the works for rollout in 2015. And if initial testing results reveal anything, it’s that the apps will meet with success.

“The real proof in the pudding is most parents report that when they’re giving their child access to LumiKids again, it’s because their child has asked to play with it,” says Mohanty.



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