Looks like I’m not the only one who really likes Osmo, the iPad-based game platform that combines iOS with the real world by letting kids manipulate objects in front of the iPad’s camera. Osmo has gotten more than $2 million in pre-sales since it first launched its crowd-funding campaign in May, and the company has been busy fulfilling the orders in monthly batches.
Pramod Sharma, CEO and co-founder of Osmo maker [company]Tangible Play[/company], told me this week that Osmo is also already being used in over 2,000 schools, with many schools initially ordering one set only to come back and order another 10, 20 or even 50 after experimenting with it.
It was those educators that also gave Sharma and his team the idea for adding customization to Osmo: Teachers would love the Osmo word game, which lets kids guess what’s being displayed on a photo, and then spell the word out with letter tiles. But they found that Osmo’s version wasn’t really compatible with the content they had to teach under the new Common Core standards.
So Tangible Play went ahead and launched a new version of the game, which lets teachers upload their own photos, and then determine the words that have to be guessed. These custom levels, if you will, can be kept private or shared with the Osmo community, which should help to incorporate many additional languages. Sharma told me that his team is going to review any submission before making it public to filter out any inappropriate content. “Even if we expose five kids to it, it’s a defeat for us,” he said.
He also said that Osmo wants to stay clear of branded content for the time being, even though the company could probably generate some additional revenue if it would partner with brands. “That is a slippery slope,” Sharma said, adding that he’d prefer to keep the Osmo experience clean and focused, and not add Disney characters or anything that could take away from the simplicity of Osmo’s games.
This post was corrected at 9:46am. An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Osmo had 2 million units pre-ordered, while it actually got $2 million in pre-sales.