Solution overview

Our Solution

Kinems embodied learning gaming platform

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Tagline

Kinems is an embodied learning gaming platform with learning and kinetic analytics for young children that transforms school education

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Pitch us on your solution

Kinems is the only commercial-grade solution that marries research-based occupational therapy protocols with standards-based academic learning in one seamless suite of activities designed specifically for use at scale in real schools. It not only leverages the power of kinesthetic/active learning for academic skill development in crucial preschool and early school years. It is especially relevant for children from under represented communities whether classified special education or not. Kinems also optimizes the scarcest resource in school -- time -- by integrating occupational therapy/sensory motor activities and academic learning.

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Embed your elevator pitch here:

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What is the problem you are solving?

Children taught at an early age usually benefit in multiple ways. They enjoy both short-term and long-term benefits via play which is really the way that young children learn. In addition to benefiting children experiencing normal development, it was also shown that children with learning disabilities benefit immensely from pre-kindergarten education. It has been found that a considerable gap in achievement in school readiness, reading, mathematics, and social skills exists between youth with learning disabilities and their peers in the general population. Kinems is a breakthrough evidence driven movement-based interactive learning gaming platform with learning and kinetic analytics that transforms preschool & school education by bringing movement therapies, academic learning, precise personalization and progress tracking together in one seamless and engaging solution. it integrates occupational therapy and academic learning. Teacher and OT/PTs can monitor each child’s progress and produce valuable reports with learning and kinetic analytics for all stakeholders, including the parents thus helping achieve the major goal of accountability.

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Who are you serving?

In early childhood education, intentional movement and playful instructional exercise promote and improve several cognitive and academic skills. In particular, children with learning disabilities such as autism , dyspraxia and ADHD encounter difficulties in social and emotional learning as well as cognitive skills related to MATH & ELA academic goals, executive functions such as maintenance of information in working memory, concentration and visual perception, and gross/fine motor planning and execution. Thus, children should follow specially designed, adaptive individual educational programs. 

Recent developments in cognitive science and pedagogy, emphasize the added value of the “embodied learning” model which dictate that “the body and brain work together in an inextricably linked brain-body system”.

Kinems brings teaching, learning and therapy for young children and especial PreK-5 students with disabilities via its personalized embodied learning gaming platform. The Kinems platform takes proven, research-based occupational/physical therapists(OT/PT) protocols and makes them thoroughly engaging for students, data-driven, personalized, and highly effective. Therapists/teachers easily control the settings to tune the activities and game play to the specific and precise learning and developmental needs of each child. The system monitors progress and thoroughly documents all interventions.

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What is your solution?

Movement and physical confidence,imagination, self-awareness, sensory agency, pre-literacy, and social-emotional skills are the core of healthy development in early childhood. Especially for children with learning disabilities, such as autism and ADHD, learning sessions by special educators and occupational therapists should be focused on improving academic topics as well as gross/fine motor skills and executive functions. New research shows quality early childhood education reduces need for later special education. This is why we have developed the Kinems breakthrough movement-based interactive learning gaming platform, i.e. to offer stimulating learning experiences to students who get engaged into physically active tasks aligned to Math and ELA state education standards. Kinems platform currently contains 36 highly customisable standard-based educational games for improving academic skills on Math and ELA, motor skills (balance, middle-line crossing, bilateral coordination) and executive functions (audio & visual memory, time management, eye-hand coordination, response inhibition) at the same time. Children interact naturally using body and hand gestures thanks to highly accurate and low price 3D depth camera such as Intel RealSense, Kinect, Orbecc, etc.

The Kinems movement-based educational (or embodied learning) gaming platform includes the following components:

Movement-based Educational games: Currently comes with 36 personalized and highly customizable standards-based educational games addressed to K-5 students with learning disabilities that improve:

  • Academic skills in Math and ELA,
  • Motor skills (middle-line crossing, bilateral coordination, eye-hand coordination, motor planning and execution, balance, etc.),
  • Cognitive skills and executive functions (audio & visual memory, time management, response inhibition, problem solving), and
  • Social and emotional learning skills (identifying emotions, impulse control, respect for others, communication, etc.).

· Lesson planner: a tool that helps teachers browse, select and orchestrate IEP-based learning paths aligned to state standards, along with a collection of related movement-based exercises aimed to help all students succeed and reach their full potential.

· Integrated monitoring & reporting system about students’ progress on academic, motor and cognitive skills as well as executive functions which makes documentation of the progress very easy.


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Select only the most relevant.

  • Reduce barriers to healthy physical, mental, and emotional development for vulnerable populations
  • Prepare children for primary school through exploration and early literacy skills
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Where is your solution team headquartered?

New York, NY, USA
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Our solution's stage of development:

Growth

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More about your solution

Select one of the below:

New application of an existing technology

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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

Embodied learning is an established pedagogical method which provides ways of engaging the physical body in multimodal learning experiences aiming to improve the learners’ cognitive abilities. We have thoughts of using the affordances of the modern touchless natural user interaction technologies ie. 3D motion sensors/cameras (Kinect, RealSense), for supporting the provision of personalized effective embodied learning playful experiences aligned to the state educational standards.  The teacher/therapist can also offer mixed reality learning experiences since the child can see himself/herself as actor of the game (with the feature of background removal)  thus promoting engagement, efficiency, and active presence. Kinems learning games are based on movement. 

As an effect, there is no direct competition to Kinems, i.e. motion-based educational games that are fully configurable and aligned to state standards. Kinems is the only commercial-grade solution that marries research-based occupational therapy protocols with standards-based academic learning in one seamless suite of activities properly designed for use at scale in real schools

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Describe the core technology that your solution utilizes.

From technological point of view, Kinems capitalizes on the affordances of the 3D sensors (i.e. cameras) such as Micorsoft Kinect, Intel Realsense, Orbecc Astra to track the body & hand gestures. In fact, our component-based software architecture allows Kinems games to be agnostic with regards to the vendor of the 3D cameras. A theacher/therapist needs a for running the games (at least core i5)  and Internet connection for running the games. Once launched a training session, she can remotely control the games via a web browser from any other device (pause, on-the-fly change settings & re-starting a game, adding new learning goal & game, etc.)

The Kinems embodied learning gaming platform includes the following components:

·       Movement-based Educational games: Currently comes with 36 personalized and highly customizable standards-based educational games addressed to PreK-5 students with learning disabilities that improve Academic, Motor, Cognitive, Social and emotional learning  skills and executive functions

·       Lesson planner: a tool that helps teachers browse, select and orchestrate IEP-based learning paths aligned to state standards, along with a collection of related movement-based exercises aimed to help all students succeed and reach their full potential.

Integrated monitoring & reporting system about students’ progress

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Select from the options below:

  • Big Data
  • Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  • Behavioral Design
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Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?

Several scientists discuss the important theoretical shift toward considering cognition as arising from sensory and motor experiences i.e., as being “embodied”. Concerning our proposal, Kinems is  an evidence-based embodied learning platform. It is supported by a growing body of peer-reviewed research. Scientists have been investigating the effectiveness of Kinems platform in a wide variety of children populations. The findings from peer-reviewed publications are repeatedly demonstrating viability, via pre- and post-test questionnaires, interviews and in-depth studies of kinetic and learning analytics, showing that it has a positive impact on children’s academic performance and improvement of their cognitive, motor and academic skills. Judging by the encouraging results of the investigations, we can argue that the enactment of embodied learning using motion-based technology holds promise in supporting students with disabilities as well as typically developed children. The research findings from the various studies can be found at the the Kinems website.

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Select the key characteristics of the population your solution serves.

  • Children and Adolescents
  • Very Poor/Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Persons with Disabilities
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Cyprus
  • Greece
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How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?

The customer base and growth of usage has been increasing every year. Currently Kinems usage data are: 100 schools in 8 states and with more than 9000 games played.

Also others indicators show that the quality of the platform  has been improved such as the Avg Duration per school which in 2016 was 81 minutes and in 2018 was 511 minutes.

The goals for next year include more than 200 schools in 9 states and with more than 15000 games played.

In five years we are expecting to reach 3000 schools in the US only (i.e. excluding the schools/teachers & students in other countries). Also, we are expecting to have more than 50.000 families as users of the Kinems home edition.

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

With regards to market penetration, next year, Kinems intends to establish a stronger footprint in the US market by expanding to more districts  with the 7 states where Kinems has currently  presence as well as adding a couple of more states. In the next five years, we aim to set up a distribution channel in European countries such as UK, Ireland, Spain, Russia as well as have distributors in China and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

From technological point of view, in 2020 we are planning to launch the Kinems home edition thus allowing us to positively impact more children/families.

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What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?

Embodied learning using motion sensors is a new concept. Thus, we need to do demos in order that school leaders & teachers understand the concept and real value. Moreover, Kinems platform offers kinetic analytics which seem to be very valuable to occupational & physical therapists  (OT/PTs) as well as parents. However, OT/PTs have not used to have access to analytics and complement their observation reports with such graphs and data visualizations. Thus, there is great opportunity for OT/PTs to improve their modus operandi for the benefits of children and their profession. 

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How are you planning to overcome these barriers?

We regularly organize trainings, teachers professional development seminars and provide Kinems customers with information and tips to help them utilize the platform’s affordances in the most efficient way to achieve the desired teaching & learning goals. We also discuss with the associations of OT/PTs in order to inform them about the new opportunities in enriching the quality of the documentation that can be provided with regards to the motion skills and the degree of improvement in the executive functions of children with disabilities. Finally, we are advocating the added value of embodied learning pedagogy using motion-based technologies since we want to widespread the affordances of this new blend of well-established pedagogy with technology. We believe that our responsibility is to form a caring, highly qualified, well trained and responsive community of special educators, OT/PTs and school leaders that  can offer to students unique learning experience and effectively and efficiently educate each student who holds a unique combination of abilities, interests, talents, and educational needs. 

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http://academy.kinems.com

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About your team

Select an option below:

For-Profit

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If you selected other for the organization question, please explain here.

Not applicable

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How many people work on your solution team?

Kinems team also consists of 7 full-time employees and 3 individual contractors.

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For how many years have you been working on your solution?

6

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Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?

Kinems team members hold great talent, high motivation and multidisciplinary skills, i.e. web and learning game developers, graphic and sound artists, and special educators and intervention teachers/therapists, customer support person holding experience and expertise in designing and developing personalized educational games that are based on i) good practices from pedagogy for teaching Math & ELA to children with special needs, ii) gamification and adaptation mechanisms for helping children with learning disabilities and iii) occupational therapy protocols. Also, Kinems board of directors and advisors have years of business experience and successes in EdTech. 

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With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?

We have partners with Microsoft and Intel for know-how exchange about the 3D depth sensors. Also, we have partnerships with university R&D groups such as PACE in NY, UCL in UK, NTNU in Norway and CUT in Cyprus for running independent research studies and offering feedback about the Kinems effectiveness.

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Your business model & funding

What is your business model?

Districts pre-pay annual licenses for $4K per school, plus $2.5K for training costs. Volume discounts and special prices for multi-year contracts may apply. Kinems software is bundled with one Microsoft Kinect ($150 per device) per school license. Kinems team produces games and extra content libraries within the school year which are offered for free with the annual license that contains free updates an upgrades.

A school district pre-pays a subscription for few months for a number of schools, as part of a pilot program. Kinems not only delivers the software and the Kinect sensors to the schools but it also  organizes a district workshop for professional development. At the end of the short pilot period, a number of schools are converted into customers. In addition, districts like Beaufort, SC pre-pay licenses for several years for several schools - (e.g. Beaufort signed a 3 years contract for 20 schools). Decision makers (superintendents, special education directors) have access to information about actual school usage (frequency of Kinems usage, number of active students & teachers, number of games played, etc) indicating the impact of the Kinems-based interventions.

Kinems sales strategy contains:

  • Direct approach to superintendents and special education directors for large volume purchase
  • Partnerships with BOCES & ESAs as distribution channels 
  • Setting up short pilot cases at individual schools before customer conversion
  • Lead generation via active participation to specialized conference/events     
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What is your path to financial sustainability?

We have already raised funds to support the production of our solution. We are now ready to hit the market and start scaling at large. We will participate as exhibitor and will organize workshops at regional exhibitions such as CASE and CECs in order to establish a brand to the education sector and to generate high quality, new business leads.

We will target social media campaigns to build up channels for communicating with our target market. At the same time we will keep growing our sales team. We just closed our latest investment round which we will be spent in marketing and sales. We already have revenues and our goal is to be profitable in 2020.

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Partnership potential

Why are you applying to Solve?

Being member of the Solve community would allow Kinems to work with and within a group of the most innovative groups and companies in early childhood education with access to experienced mentors and their networks. This community and professional network would help Kinems improve its product, validate business ideas and foster its business growth. The program will help the company with in-kind support especially media and conference exposure.

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What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?

  • Distribution
  • Talent or board members
  • Media and speaking opportunities
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If you selected Other, please explain here.

Not applicable

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With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?

We would like to partner with R&D groups for running research studies about the Kinems effectiveness. 

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If you would like to apply for the AI Innovations Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution. If you are not already using AI in your solution, explain why it is necessary for your solution to be successful and how you plan to incorporate it.

Not applicable

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If you would like to apply for the Innovation for Women Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution.

Not applicable

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If you would like to apply for the Innospark Ventures Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution. If your solution utilizes data, describe how you will ensure that the data is sourced, maintained, and used ethically and responsibly.

Not applicable

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Solution Team

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