Japanese Wearable Tech Startup Moff Teams Up With PBS KIDS

PBS KIDS, the branch of the venerable Public Broadcasting Service that produces children’s shows like “Sesame Street” and “Wild Kratts,” is taking its first step into wearable tech. PBS Kids launched a new app today, called PBS KIDS Party App, that can be used with Moff Band. This is a significant coup for Tokyo-based Moff because PBS is its first major partner in the U.S.

Moff raised $1.3 million in seed funding two months ago, most of which is earmarked for gaining market share in the U.S. The Bluetooth wristband stands out from its competitors by acting as a game controller in addition to tracking activities and, with its slap bracelet band, is designed to be easy for kids to use (the PBS KIDS Party App is aimed at five to eight year olds).

Moff first connected with PBS KIDS at the New York Toy Fair in February. Founder Takahagi Akinori hopes that partnering with a well-established brand will help Moff Band gain recognition in America.

“PBS KIDS has a commanding presence amongst kids and parents in the U.S. and we feel privileged to have partnered with them,” he said in an email. “This partnership gives us solid credibility to market the Moff Band and our technology platform to kids, parents and future complementary partners.”

The PBS KIDS Party App, which currently has four educational games, can be used without the Moff Band.

Once kids are in the app, they are shown how the Moff Band can enhance its features, which Akinori hopes will be compelling enough for them to spend $54.99 on the wearable.

“For those who haven’t heard of Moff just yet, we believe that the app provides a genuine incentive to buy the Moff Band as kids and parents find value in the wearable technology that the app is compatible with,” said Akinori.