Dipongo is a mobile application available on tablets and smartphones that aims at keeping kids away from all screens to spark their imagination and activate their creativity. The goal statement sounds like a conundrum: using displays to keep children away from them, how is that possible?

According to this Raise Smart Kids article published in January 2020, there is little scientific data available from pediatric studies to prove screen time could be bad for kids. However, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children between 2 and 5 should be limited to one hour of screen time per day. In January 2021, I found tons of articles about screen addiction in kids and how digital distraction is killing creativity.

To prove their point, the Dipongo team shows the drawings below in its presentation deck, taken from a study conducted by German pediatrician Peter Winterstein.

The French startup founded in 2018 by Emanuelle Gras (Co-founder & CEO) and Marion Peret (Co-founder & Art Director) develops interactive stories for kids that unfold between the real and the virtual worlds. Last year, Dipongo won a CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree.

How Does Dipongo Work?

(watch the video above and photos below)

1/ The “phygital” story starts in fantastic universes where kids follow characters such as Edgar the Fox in the Wonderful Jungle.

2/ The digital story stops when the character and the child have to deal with a challenge that needs a solution from the physical world. In the example below, Edgar the Fox needs to meet his friends on the other side of an abyss, and he does not know how he can do it.

3/ The story will resume once the kid solves the problem using her imagination, drawing, modeling, constructing, collaging… away from the screen.

4/ The kid takes a photo of her creation, and the drawing or sculpture is integrated into the virtual landscape.

5/ Edgar can cross the bridge drawn by the girl to meet his friends and continue exploring the jungle to overcome other challenges.

6/ Kids can access the solutions created by other players for the same challenge.

The application is available for an 8.50 euros monthly subscription with no shipping fees. The English version is expected to launch in March.
The company offers a creative box to meet the challenges of Dipongo. (see below)

If you are registered at CES 2021, you can visit the Dipongo virtual booth here, where you can watch the latest video demo in English (different from the one featured in this article). There you can connect with co-founders Emanuelle Gras and Marion Peret.

Dipongo is part of the French Tech delegation at CES 2021, you can check our coverage here and connect with the other French Tech startups here on the CES 2021 website (requires registration).

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