The DreamTab will enable DreamWorks’ artists and filmmakers to produce interactive experiences for kids that promote the toon studio’s characters, while also giving users email, texting and sharing tools and parents controls over how those elements are used.
The device, which will be built with 8- and 12-inch screens and run on Google’s Android platform overlayed with Fuhu’s operating system, will be shown off at the 2014 International CES show in Las Vegas next week, and be available at U.S. retailers in the spring, followed by an international release later in the year.
Educational software will provide reading, writing and match lessons.
Parental controls will enable time limits to be set, and “nabi” coins to be added to a kid’s account.
DreamWorks animators will also be able to teach kids how to draw through a “Be An Artist” program, showing how “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon” were produced.
First game available on the DreamTab, “School of Dragons,” is based on “How to Train Your Dragon.”
A “nabi Play” feature will also feature a variety of kids programming from DreamWorks Animation, as well as Nick, Disney, Cartoon Network and other content creators.
An app zone will enable users to download and purchase apps, games, movies, videos, e-books and other digital goods that can be synced to the cloud.
El Segundo, Calif.-based Fuhu also plans to produce a range of accessories, including headphones, screen protectors, carrying cases and other items featuring animated characters for the DreamTab through its relationship with DreamWorks Animation in order to enable kids to customize their devices.
Fuhu previously created a similar tablet, the nabi, which attracted DreamWorks’ attention, especially as it sought to expand into the mobile hardware biz with its own device.
“Fuhu grabbed our attention when they came on the market because they single-handedly made a quantum leap forward in revolutionizing the kids tech space; as their company grew, we saw an incredible opportunity to join with them to take the overall tablet experience to a whole new level,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Digital Strategy, Jim Mainard. “The DreamTab posed a compelling challenge not only to our filmmakers and artists to create content for this new medium, but also for our engineers and innovators who worked hand-in-hand with the Fuhu team to develop the consumer-facing side of this groundbreaking technology.”
Meanwhile, Fuhu wanted to expand its own business through licensing deals with content owners, seeing branded devices as a way to attract more of its family audience.
“As we look to further innovate the kids tech space and expand our mission to give families the freedom to safely learn, play and grow through technology, it’s crucial that we continue to identify new ways to evolve the landscape and bring original and creative experiences,” said Jim Mitchell, CEO of Fuhu. “Similar to the entrepreneurial nature of Fuhu, there is a founder-led spirit of innovation at DreamWorks Animation which permeates the studio and inspires them to create compelling content, regardless of the medium. They are true experts in crafting exceptional family entertainment with a unique understanding of and passion for technology.”