A child using a tablet

UNICEF Innovation Fund Graduate: Pixframe Studios

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is proud to see portfolio member, Pixframe studios, graduate. They’ve come a long way – from numerous product iterations to deep diving into understanding their ecosystem better, strengthening their business model, and gearing up to take their solution to market. They’re now ready to collaborate at a larger scale – as they find new pathways to work with partners, investors, and the open source community.


REFLECTIONS FROM THE TEAM

 

Pixframe Studios leverages artificial intelligence  to create a video game based tool that helps children build their cognitive skills and assess improvements- all while having fun.  These 12 months have been key to understanding not only our younger users, but also the adults who are interested in their development. We have worked directly with parents, teachers and specialists in education and child development to improve our tools based on their feedback and create proposals that respond better to the needs of each segment. Our current customers are parents, learning therapists, schools and institutions, each with different needs, but with a common interest, to promote the development of children.


Creating this platform has not been an easy task. We assembled a team of specialists in neuropsychology, education, design and engineering and worked tirelessly to achieve it. The support of the UNICEF Innovation Fund and the advice given to us by their team and mentors has taken us to where we are now and we are happy to share our greatest advances

 

THE CHALLENGE 

 

Can you imagine that playing your favorite video game could help you learn faster or solve problems in your daily life? At Pixframe we want this to be a reality for children, so we created Towi Island, a video game based on neuroscience that helps children train their attention, memory, planning, organization and many other mental abilities, while having fun.Towi Island’s built in features allow teachers/parents to measure the cognitive level of children in order to facilitate the early detection of impediments to learning and cognitive development.

School children

4450 children have used Towi to assess and develop their cognitive skills.

KEY MILESTONES 

 

Researchers from different universities in Mexico have studied the impact that Towi has had on children and we have amazing news: among other findings, researchers concluded that after 20 play sessions, significant advancements in the development of skills are identified , even with a minimum frequency and duration of play (once a week for 20 minutes). In addition, our cognitive assessment tool has demonstrated a high potential for neuropsychological screening, as it tests skills in a practical functional context with immediate results that are easy  to interpret. Learn more about our research projects at http://towi.com.mx/ccl/projects/

 

 As of August 2019, more than 22,000 children will be using Towi in their school as a tool to improve their ability to learn- hopefully this number will keep growing. 

 

Most of the children using Towi live in Mexico and some of them in Chile, Colombia and Argentina. We are working to bring Towi to many more children, in other countries in Latin America and the rest of the world. Our platform is now available in English and can be easily translated into any other language. We have integrated Artificial Intelligence algorithms in our tools to help us detect problems in children's learning earlier. And best of all, all the user has to do is play!

 

User testing 

We have fine-tuned our processes of design, development and testing. Our past challenges taught us a lot. During the investment period, we learned that our games were not as attractive as we thought, so we listened to children and improved our platform with a new design and narrative. We also incorporated good development practices that now allow us to generate more efficient and attractive tools. 

 

 

OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGY 
 


We believe in collaboration and opening our platform for research. Open source allows for global contributions from developers to create technological tools that improve our capacity as human beings.This approach has allowed us to explore possibilities that we would never have considered. Towi is now being used for rehabilitation purposes and even to delay the cognitive deterioration of older adults and people with different conditions.

Children in Chiapas, Mexico

WAY AHEAD 

 

Next year we seek to reach at least 1 million users, generate new games to develop cognitive skills, create partnerships with universities and research institutes from different parts of the world to keep validating and improving our tools, add schools and specialists that use Towi as a tool to improve learning, collaborate with developers who have the same mission as us and work with hardware providers to bring Towi to children who cannot use it today.

 

We want Towi to become the most effective platform worldwide to develop children's cognitive potential, we still have a long way to go but we are sure we have all the necessary to make it.

 

Photo Credits | Top: © Pixframe Studios | In Article: 1) © UNICEF/UNI178938/Ramos 2)  © UNICEF/UNI178940/Ramos